What does this mean? Well, unfortunately, it means that it could push back the release date of The Queen of All that Dies. However, what it does mean is that The Vanishing Girl series could be more widely distributed—more ebook formats (yippee to those of you who have non-Kindle e-readers), audiobooks, perhaps foreign language editions, and print books that will be available in certain bookstores across the country.
This is all still up in the air, so I’ll keep all of you wonderful readers posted on what happens. To all those readers who have contacted me to read an advanced review copy of The Queen of All that Dies—this will mean that your copies will arrive later than I initially expected. However, I still have you all listed, and I’ll keep you posted on future updates.
If you have not signed up to read an advanced copy of The Queen of all that Dies, and you’re interested in getting to read and review an early copy, please email me at email@example.com. Absolutely anyone can do this, and you get a free pre-released copy of The Queen of All that Dies. All you have to do is read the book and post a review when the book hits shelves. So again, if you’re interested, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those of you bummed by this news, I thought I’d pair it with another teaser from The Queen of all that Dies to sate your appetite.
The Queen of All that Dies Teaser #3
Marco twists the handle and ushers me inside. The king’s back is to me and he’s staring at the walls of the room.
I suck in a breath of air. The walls are covered with maps of every nation on earth. Strings crisscross the images, connecting one section of land to another. I can see creases on the surface of these maps, suggesting that they were unfolded recently. My best guess is that the king takes these maps wherever he goes.
Pins hold the strings down, and beneath a few of these pins are images. Most are of people whose faces have been crossed out; only a precious few have not been. My earlier nausea rises.
“Feeling better, Serenity?”
The king turns to face me, his expression unreadable. “You’re not wearing my gift.”
“You can’t bribe me into liking you.”
The king’s eyes flick to Marco. “You can go.”
Behind me Marco’s footfalls fade, and a moment later the door clicks shut. There’s no one else in this room but the two of us. No guards, no servants. Like the pool last night, it’s just the two of us.
“I can’t have you clouding my judgment during negotiations,” he says.
My hands fist. “Right. Because how awful would it be to compromise for once in your life?”
“I haven’t spent the last fifteen years waging war to finally compromise.”
“No,” I agree, “you haven’t.”
The king glances away from me at the maps that line the walls. “I’m not an idiot,” he says, not looking at me.
“Could’ve fooled me.”
“I know the WUN sent you here to seduce me.”
My body goes rigid. I have no idea why his confession shocks me; it doesn’t take a scientist to put two and two together.
He laughs, the sound hollow. “The problem is, it worked.” His eyes move over me, and something in them softens for a moment before he shutters the expression.
“You find that hard to believe?” he asks. His lips quirk into a smirk. I’d say that he was mocking me, except his eyes are too serious.
I fold my arms over my chest. Of course I do. “Why are you telling me this?” I ask.
“To warn you.”
“Warn me about what?”
“I get what I want. Always.”
“You keep telling me that, yet I haven’t seen any proof.”
“You want proof?” he says. His eyes are calculating, and the smile dancing on his lips is sly. He’s no longer the man I talked to yesterday; he’s the man who’s been taking over the world for the last two decades.
I take a step back. I shouldn’t have spoken just now; my words were careless, and around the king, careless words could mean the difference between life and death.
I shake my head and close my eyes. “No, I don’t want proof. I just want this to end.” I open my eyes. “I don’t want to see any more crossed out faces on those maps of yours.” I jut my chin to the wall behind him. “I don’t want to be hungry all the time. I don’t want to see the hollow-eyed looks of the people I live alongside.”
“I can give you that,” he says, tucking a piece of hair behind my ear. I flinch at his touch.
“Of course you can—but you won’t.”
“That’s because no one’s offered me the correct price yet.” He says it like this is a simple matter of haggling.
I throw my arms up. “You can’t expect the WUN to willingly cripple our future economy for you.”
The king steps in extra close. “That’s not the price I was referring to.” His eyes move over me.
And now I get it. I take a step back, then another. I furrow my eyebrows; I think I’m going to be sick. “No.”
“Even if I believed you felt that was a legitimate trade—which we both know it isn’t—no.”
“You could end this all now, and you refuse to agree to it?”
“You’re asking me to make a deal with the devil.”
“You and I both know you already signed your soul away a long time ago, Serenity.”
“Because of you and your stupid war. I already told you last night, you don’t get to have me.”
The king gazes intensely at me. “I’m not just talking about sex,” he says.
But sex would be included in the arrangement. “I’d rather die than do anything with you.”
“If it’s death you wish, we can arrange that.”
The king reaches out to touch my arm, and I slap his hand away. “Don’t. Touch. Me.” I’m shaking; this was never supposed to happen. I’m getting played by the king, and I don’t know how to get myself out of this situation.
King Lazuli sticks his hands in his pockets and leans in conspiratorially. “You know the thing about strategy? It takes knowing when to act and when to be patient.”
I take a good long look at him. King Lazuli’s been waging this war for over fifteen years, yet he looks to be in his twenties. I’ve seen footage of him shot, blown-up, and stabbed, yet he hasn’t died. He’s unnatural in more ways than one.
“If you try to force me into this plan of yours, I will find out your secrets,” I say, “and once I do, I will kill you.” I stare at him for a long moment so that he can see the vehemence behind my words. And then I turn and walk away from the king and the sick tapestry that hangs along the walls of the room.
I’m almost to the door when he speaks. “I plan on making you love me before that happens.”
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Hugs and happy reading,