Thursday, March 23, 2023

BOOK BLITZ: Thorns at Sunrise by Janeen Ippolito

Today, we have a Book Blitz to kick off celebrating the book birthday for author Janeen Ippolito's Thorns at Sunrise, book 2 in the Star-Crossed Gifts series! To celebrate this new release, we have an exclusive excerpt AND a blitz-wide giveaway to share! So... Be sure to check it out and grab your copy NOW!

Young Adult
Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
Fairytale Retelling
Star-Crossed Gifts, #2
Publish Date:
March 23, 2023

A young queen. Her imaginary friend. A kingdom on the verge of death.

She believes she’s crazy.

Queen Usilea has a secret–and he lives in her mind. Ever since she was six years old, her imaginary friend has been her closest companion, and her arranged marriage has been a great dread. When she learns her betrothed and the royal family have suddenly died, she feels obligated to attend the funeral in the foreign land of Absteph–and perhaps learn more behind their mysterious passing.

He only wants the truth.

Petar endures great pain to protect those he does not remember. His only solace is a shadowy woman who he loves–even though she denies that he exists. When a terrible tragedy occurs in his kingdom, that mysterious woman is his only hope of bringing justice to light. For the cage that imprisons him grows harsher every day, and he is losing the fight.

But there are thorns at sunrise.

Brought together on the barest thread of reality, Usilea and Petar must discover what really happened to the royal family. But Petar’s time is running out. Soon not even a Mender like Usilea will be able to save him.

This YA romance features a gender-swapped Sleeping Beauty in an original fantasy world on the brink of doom.



“Lea? What is it?” Concern laced Jaric’s tone.

“I am being invited to attend a royal funeral of state.” Her voice faded. Usilea swallowed and breathed deeply. “My betrothed is dead. Along with most of the royal family of Absteph, including the crown prince.”

She waited for a moment, expecting some commentary from her inner friend. There was none. Perhaps he understood the gravity of the news as much as she did.

How could this be? There had been letters, albeit stilted and formal. There had been no news that Prince Cowan or the royal family had been in any danger.

Now, all were deceased due to some tragic illness, save for an uncle who would ascend the throne as the only remaining member of the bloodline. 

How terrible. How … odd …

Jaric broke through her thoughts. “Give me the letter.”

She handed it over, accustomed to his abruptness when he was upset. Her brother scanned through the letter once, then twice. Then once more again. At last, he looked over at her. 

“If you wish, I can attend in your stead.”

“You are no longer my regent,” Usilea said. 

“I know. You must stay here to rule your kingdom. What if this is a trap so that they can entangle a Mender and keep you in Absteph?”

She huffed. “If it is, they will more easily keep a royal advisor than risk absconding with a queen.”

“You have not been publicly crowned.”

“According to our laws, that is a formality.” Her parents had wanted to ensure her brother could never usurp her role, not that Jaric had any desire to do so. “And you have young children who need their father.” 

“You nearly die on sea travel.” 

“You exaggerate.” But her guts roiled at the very idea of boarding a ship and crossing the channels to Absteph. While the country ran down the length of the coast east from Edrin, the capital city of Hicareth was in the far north.

A shiver ran up her spine.

There is something rotten about this.” Her friend’s voice was sharp and certain. “You must go.”

I know. She let the words settle within her. Though she held little affection for the mysterious Prince Cowan, he and his family had perished unexpectedly. A grievous matter, and one that rang hollow within her.

In addition, this would be an opportunity to establish future relations with the country beyond the marriage alliance. She could bring over additional food stores as well. Usilea had grown used to proving herself. Now she had to do so again.

“I must go, Jaric. I am going as soon as a ship can be made ready.” 

Her brother glared at her for a moment. Usilea only raised her chin, staring back at him. Ultimately, she was his sovereign. It was her decision to make.

“…fine.” His words were a growl. “I will see to your ship in the morning.” 

“Including food for them.”

“Yes, their mysterious drought continues.”

Usilea and Petar


Star-Crossed Gifts series:
(covers link to Goodreads)



**About the Author**
Janeen Ippolito writes about misfits who defy expectations, whether in fairy tale, steampunk fantasy, urban fantasy, humorous paranormal romance, or poetry. She also spreads wordtastic joy in her work as a fearless book strategist, nonfiction author, and coach. In her spare time, she swordfights and posts cute animal memes.

Stay connected with Janeen Ippolito


***The Giveaway***

Giveaway Open Internationally
~ends March 30, 2023
Note: Not Responsible for Lost & Damaged Prizes in Your Mail Box

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