Today The Black Veins Blog Tour stops at my blog for a super exciting and fun excerpt to tease you and make you MORE excited about this book if you already know about it, or to introduce you to these queer magical kids who go on a road trip to save one of them’s family, if this is your first time hearing about it!
This amazing blog tour was put together by my lovely friend CW @ The Quiet Pond and you can find more information about it on her introduction post. Soooo…without further ado and to minimize your wait, here is the awaited excerpt which also happens to be the opening of the bookn that is guaranteed to pull you in and make you want to read more:
The magic wakes at midnight. It arrives in the form of a song.
It isn’t a remarkable tune. It carries only a piano’s chirps, a violin’s easy hum, and the subtle plucking of harp strings. It breezes through Greenland, Rome, London, Quebec, and everywhere in-between. It tangles through city streets, tumbles over bridges, and plunges to the depths of subway lines.
It is a song that knows no bounds and no country lines. It travels like the breeze: free.
Most of its notes fall on deaf ears. City dwellers pause in the middle of their midnight journeys, raising their heads as they catch a few notes.
But the moment passes as quickly as it begins, and the melody flies on.
But others hear more. They are the ones who harbor secrets in their lives and in their veins. They recognize that they’ve heard a song, but they know better than to speak of the forbidden m word that has brought the melody to their ears—magic.
They rise in search of the source of this tune; people peek their heads out of windows, or wander the streets, or check social media for mentions of something gone amiss.
But in every corner of the world, citizens are left baffled. The source is untraceable. The song has come from everywhere and nowhere.
And while there lies a story in where the melody has come from, more interesting is the story of where it is going.
Blythe Fulton is asleep when the song slips through her open window. She is tucked under blankets, curls hidden in her bonnet, unmoving even as the notes dance through one ear and thread out the other.
Anxiety and agitation tangle in her dreams. The song has gone, but it has left something in its wake.
Consciousness returns to her. Blythe tries to open her eyes. Her lids don’t move. She tries to push the blankets off, to roll onto her back. Her body stays rigidly still.
Something is verywrong.
Blythe’s heart thunders in her chest. Could this be sleep paralysis? Maybe she just needs to try to wiggle her toes, like that blog told her, and eventually her limbs will respond.
But above the quickening of her desperate breathing, there comes a voice. It isn’t one she hears with her ears; the words hum in her ribs and speak in time with her heartbeat.
The voice is not hers, but it still comes from insideher.
Get up, it says. And go to the roof.
Her nerves wake with an electric pulse shooting from her feet to the top of her scalp. Her eyes snap open before the thought of opening them even enters her mind.
Blythe opens her mouth and screams. Except her mouth doesn’t open at all. Instead, her body slams upright. Her blankets fly off the bed as her legs swing to the ground.
Her body stands, but Blythe does not want to be standing. She fights to bring her weight to her knees, to collapse to the carpet.
The only thing her legs do is walk toward the door.
She shuffles like a zombie beneath the dim hallway lights. The whole house is silent. Her parents and sisters lie sleeping behind closed bedroom doors.
None of them hear the window open or see her knees on the sill as she climbs into the cold night air.
Blythe has never gone to the roof in her life, but her body moves as if this is familiar. The gutter groans as her arms grab hold of it.
Her feet slip free of the sill—and there is nothing beneath her but air. She screams, but her mouth stays shut. The sound travels nowhere.
Her body hoists her up, landing with a thunk. Blythe prays the sound is loud enough to wake her parents.
The voice vibrates against her ribcage. Go to the edge.
Blythe summons every force of her will to keep herself lying against the rough asphalt, to sink her skin into the roof, unmoving. Her body raises effortlessly. Blythe tries to move backward. Her body pays no mind.
Every inch of her being is in the hands of that voice in her chest; the voice that has ordered her feet to take one step in front of the other toward the edge of a roof.
The street is dark and silent and still. Every window in her neighbors’ houses are black, curtains drawn against the night.
Blythe Fulton is about to step off a roof and no one will know.
Clouds roll in from the horizon. They are not the fluffy clouds of a summer afternoon, but the thick grey masses of an impending storm.
They bleed into one hulking entity that towers over the neighborhood, creeping across the stars and swallowing them whole.
For a moment, Blythe is foolish enough to think the clouds will pass her. Fear drips down her spine as she realizes.
Those clouds are not natural or normal, and they are not coming toward her. They are coming for her.
Someone grips her arm from behind. She spins around so quickly that the world spins with her. And like the voice, it dissipates, shifting everything back into its rightful place.
“What the hell are you doing up here?!” her savior asks.
Blythe looks up—and nearly sobs when her body actually obeys and her head moves.
Her father stares down at her, and while Jamal Fulton is a strong man, he cannot hide the fear on his face as he studies his daughter.
Blythe’s eyes burn with tears. “I…” What is she even supposed to say? How is she supposed to explain? “I don’t know,” she manages. “It wasn’t me. It just…it wasn’t me.”
Jamal’s expression morphs from worried to horrified. “Oh God,” he whispers.
He pulls her into an embrace so tight it almost hurts, as if he could protect her from the fear that she’s already experienced. If only he really could.
“You’re safe now, sweetheart. You’re safe,” he whispers. “Let’s get you back inside, okay?”
As Jamal guides her down the roof, the clouds retreat as well, shrinking into the horizon until they are gone.
Beneath a blanket, on the living room sofa, Blythe stares into the steaming mug of tea in her hands.
Magic is a secret.
It has existed since the first breath of life, but it has never been a force with agency. Magic has no agenda; it bends completely and totally to the intent of its user.
And while magic is capable of immense good, it is also capable of immense destruction.
The Common world faces its own dangers, but there are always limitations. Bodies and weapons can only do so much. But in the whispered world of magic, where families like the Fultons hide their abilities from Common eyes that should not see, limitations do not exist.
Anything is possible, no matter how dangerous or twisted or vile—like controlling people into walking off rooftops.
There is no doubt in Blythe’s mind that what has happened to her has been done through some complex force of magic.
But why her? When people are attacked like this, they are important politicians and powerful men with armies behind them. Not sixteen-year-old girls asleep in their bedrooms.
The subtle burn of tea spilling down her fingers makes her realize her hands are shaking. Again. Blythe closes her eyes, banishing those thoughts from her head.
Thinking about what happened and why is only going to make her anxious. She leans further into her mother’s arms.
Blythe has inherited her mother’s long curls and golden-brown skin, but not her ability to remain calm in every situation.
Amber Fulton strokes Blythe’s hair with the same smooth motion she’s made since Blythe was a child.
“You’ll be alright,” she says. “Everything’s gonna be alright.”
But the living room is ominous in its darkness, a living contradiction to her words. From the blank TV in front of them to the staircase off to the right, this home Blythe has known for years feels like a battlefield. She may live here, but these walls can’t protect her.
Amber nods. “I’ll talk to Dad about it. He’ll let you come if you want to.”
Something creaks at the top of the staircase. Blythe’s heart leaps into her throat. Huddled on the top stair are two small forms, cloaked by darkness but growing more visible with every impatient twitch.
“Lily, Lena,” Amber calls. “I see you up there.”
Busted. Blythe’s little sisters shuffle into the light; identical nine-year-olds with identically brown skin, curly ponytails, and pouting faces.
“We wanted to make sure Blythe was okay,” Lily whispers.
“And what’s her excuse?” Blythe eyes Lena, the more boisterous one who has never once cared about Blythe’s wellbeing.
Lena rocks on the balls of her feet. “I just wanna know how to get on the roof.” Typical.
“No one is getting on the roof,” Amber says. “But I know two little ladies who are going back to bed.” The twins whine as Amber gets up to herd them back into their bedrooms. Their voices fade into silence as they disappear upstairs.
A hush falls over the empty living room. Blythe clutches her mug a bit tighter. Snippets of Jamal’s conversation drifts in from down the hall.
“A song?” he asks. “Blythe mentioned it. But none of us were awake to hear it. She—”
He pauses. Blythe can’t imagine her dad truly speaking with the leaders of the Black Veins. Maybe he just got their assistant.
“That sounds fine,” Jamal answers. “Well, we’ll be…waiting for their decision. Thank you.”
Jamal returns, ambling slow and rubbing the back of his neck. “Hey, Bubbles.” It’s her childhood nickname, coined after her favorite Powerpuff Girl. Jamal only calls her that when things are really rough. “This is something, isn’t it?”
“Is that what the Sages said?” Blythe asks.
“Nah. I didn’t even get them. I talked to one of their advisors, Sessa. She said that they’re going to handle the situation and ‘call back with more information’.”
“Sounds like bullcrap.”
“Exactly what I was thinking,” Jamal huffs. “But it doesn’t matter if they do or not. You’ll be fine either way, y’hear? Nothing’s gonna happen to you. Not while I’m here.”
Blythe smiles—and it’s the first time she’s smiled all night. “Thanks, Dad.”
He simply nods, because he is not one for extended conversation. “I’m gonna let you sleep. You staying down here?”
Blythe can’t go back to her room. Not now. “Yeah. I don’t want to move.”
“I’ll stay with you,” he says. Before he leaves to grab some pillows and blankets, he turns on the TV and tosses Blythe the remote.
Jamal must’ve been watching it last—he’s the only one who actually watches the magician stations. There are certain channels visible only by enchanting your TV with a particular spell, and it took Jamal a whole weekend to properly spell their TV.
The Alastair French Show is on. Alastair himself is a charming man with iconic brassy hair and a wide smile, but Blythe is tired of seeing him. As if the nighttime special weren’t enough, he has his own radio show too, flaunting his monopoly on the “magician news” market.
Tonight, Alastair’s guest is a sharp-faced man in a slick grey suit. Blythe doesn’t recognize him. But what he says makes her skin go cold.
“We think of the Trident Republic as a weak government but that is a genuinely dangerous underestimation,” the man says. “If they wanted a fight, they could get one. All it would take…”
He holds up a skinny, pale finger. “Is one act. One random, hostile action could completely tip the scales. Word would travel to the Black Veins, the Sages would get a call, and boom. The whole situation explodes. Next thing we know, there’s a war on our hands. All because of one act, and one phone call.”
About the book
Publication date : July 17t, 2019
Publisher : Independant
Genre : Young Adult | Fantasy
Page Count: 428
Synopsis : In a world where magic thrives in secret city corners, a group of magicians embark on a road trip—and it’s the “no-love-interest”, found family adventure you’ve been searching for.
Sixteen-year-old Blythe is one of seven Guardians: magicians powerful enough to cause worldwide panic with a snap of their fingers. But Blythe spends her days pouring latte art at her family’s coffee shop, so why should she care about having apocalyptic abilities?
She’s given a reason when magician anarchists crash into said coffee shop and kidnap her family.
Heartbroken but determined, Blythe knows she can’t save them alone. A war is brewing between two magician governments and tensions are too high. So, she packs up her family’s bright yellow Volkswagen, puts on a playlist, and embarks on a road trip across the United States to enlist the help of six strangers whose abilities are unparalleled—the other Guardians.
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Indigo | Apple Books
About the author
Ashia Monet is a speculative fiction author whose work almost always includes found families, diverse ensemble casts, the power of friendship, and equal parts humor and drama. Some of her favorite things are The Adventure Zone, Ariana Grande, and the color pink. You can follow her on Twitter @ashiamonet and Instagram @ashiawrites.
Many thanks CW for hosting this blog tour, here’s the tour schedule:
CW @ The Quiet Pond (Introduction + Review)
Fran @ The Ramblebee (List + Playlist)
Fadwa @ Word Wonders (Excerpt)
Sage @ sageshelves (Review + Discussion Post [Benefits of No Romantic Arc])
Kate @ Your Tita Kate (Review only)
Vinny @ Artsy Draft (Review + Lockscreen/Wallpapers)
Lili @ Utopia State of Mind (Review + Hand Lettering)
Noémie @ Tempest of Books (Review + Discussion [‘No Romance’])
Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books (Review only)
Surina @ Book Reviews by the Bloggisters (Review + Author Interview)
Saoudia @ Recs From Ur Friend (Review + Quiz [Which Guardian Are You?])
Gretal @ Books and Breadcrumbs (Review + Discussion [No Romantic Arc])
Kate @ Reading Through Infinity (Review + Author Interview)
Vanessa @ The Wolf & Books (Review + Moodboard OR Playlist)
That’s it until next time.
Did you read The Black Veins? If so, what did you think?
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.