Monday, October 31, 2016

BLOG TOUR: Iniquity by Melody Winter

We are thrilled to be one of the sites to kick off this exciting Blog Tour for Melody Winter's Iniquity, the first book in The Ascent series! On our stop today, we will be sharing an excerpt from the book! Plus... there's a tour-wide giveaway! Follow the tour, HERE!

New Adult
Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
The Ascent, #1
Publish Date:
October 25, 2016

Athena Harrow is about to turn twenty-one, but there will be no celebration. What is there to celebrate when the world is ruled by demons?

She hates the darkness the demons brought with them and longs for the light to return to the world—a world she only vaguely remembers. The people in her forest village blindly accept the life the demons forced upon them, even tolerating the yearly ascension ceremony where all the girls who have turned twenty-one are either sent away to serve the Master Demon or left in the village and forced to procreate.

But Paymon, the assigned village demon, selects a different role for Athena, a role that pits her against the village. While she adapts to her new life, Erebus, a younger, more powerful demon, arrives, and Athena must play a dangerous game with his emotions in return for information about the demon’s reign of darkness.

As Athena’s dreams of restoring the light begin to fade, her life with Erebus takes an unexpected turn, and this time it’s her life being put to the test.

Set in the forest around Buttercrambe in North Yorkshire, England, Iniquity explores the frightening, darker side of romance and the uncontrolled emotions it can unleash.


          With heavy, shuffling footsteps, I wandered to the window that overlooked the distant village. Through the thin veil of darkness, it shone like a beckoning light, offering a welcoming and friendly arrival. I sighed—it didn’t offer either of those to me now, and I doubted that it ever would.
          I stared out of the window for a long time, not really seeing the village, just gazing, unfocused, with my hands clasped tightly together. What would happen tonight? What caused the noises I was so used to hearing but never witnessed? 
          It was only when Paymon knocked on my door that I moved.
          “Time to go,” he said as he stepped into the room. “We don’t keep the Master waiting.”
          I was unwilling to rush to a ceremony that I’d feared for years. The fact that I wasn’t to be taken away didn’t do anything to slow my racing heart or calm my fluttering nerves.
          Paymon followed me along the corridor and down the stairs. He didn’t speak to me, probably well aware of my heightened emotions. He insisted I wore his cloak over my dress for warmth as we prepared to leave the house. He wore a thinner looking one, reassuring me that he didn’t need the cloak for warmth—he was already running at a temperature far above what was necessary to withstand the cold.
          Odin flew above us as we walked to the village. He joined a few other ravens as they swooped and glided across the sky.
          “Does he have a family?” I squinted into the dark, trying to follow his movements.
          “Probably. But his real family is here, isn’t it? You and me. He views himself as one of us, not a bird.”
          As we neared the edge of the village, Paymon’s stride became unsteady.
          “Why are you limping?” I asked. His eyes informed me he was full, therefore strong.
          Paymon scowled before replying, “What would the villagers say if I seemed to have been miraculously cured of my limp? I can’t have them sensing the importance of your presence to me. It would show a weakness, and that’s something I will never let them see.”
          He viewed the village with narrowed eyes before pulling the hood of his cape over his head.
          “You never did tell me what caused you to limp.”
          “No, I don’t believe I did.”
          “Will you tell me?”
          He turned his head to face me. “Not tonight. There will be more than enough happening to keep that curious mind of yours occupied.”
          We stopped walking when we reached the centre of the village. There was no one around, not even at the fire, which was usually overseen by the older men. It was only just alight, the embers coughing out their last remnant of heat and struggling to glow.
          I swallowed nervously as the people drifted from their homes into the central area of the village. Faces I’d known all my life stared back at me, fear etched into their darkened, dirty features. My heart was screaming, telling me to insist they understood that I was still the same person they had always known, that I’d never change. But as I glanced at my luxurious dress and shoes, I saw what they did. I was married to the village demon, dressed in clothes they could only ever dream of. I was clean, my face free of smudges of ash and dirt. I’d already changed. I wasn’t one of them anymore.
          “Don’t let them worry you,” Paymon said, bending to whisper the words in my ear. “Their emotions run higher than normal tonight. They fear everything about this ceremony.”
           As if to wake them from their trance, Paymon clicked his fingers. He blew the resulting flame into the dying fire, and it roared to life, burning brightly and lighting the open area in its warming glow.
          The villagers were silent. Usually they chatted, joked and laughed, but not even Paymon’s trick of relighting the fire stirred them to speak.
          “When does it all start?” I whispered, not wanting to break the silence that surrounded us.
          Paymon lifted his gaze to the sky. “They are almost here.”


**About the Author**
Growing up, Melody Winter showed a natural ability in art, a head for maths, and a tendency to write too long English essays. Difficult to place in the world when she graduated, she pursued a career in teaching, but ended up working in finance. Melody is convinced the methodical times she spends working with numbers fuel her desire to drift into dream worlds and write about the illusory characters in her head.

Melody Winter lives in York, North Yorkshire, England with her husband and two sons. When not dealing with football, rugby, and a whole plethora of ‘boy’ activities, she will be found scribbling notes for her stories, or preparing for another trip to the nearby beaches at Scarborough and Whitby. With an obsession for anything mythical, Melody revels in reading and writing about such creatures.

Stay connected with Melody Winter


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