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Thursday, 4 August 2016

☀☄ Ignite the Shadows: Ignite the Shadows [1] - Ingrid Seymour

Thank you for joining us on the Virtual Book Tour for Ignite the Shadows, a Young Adult Dystopian Fantasy by (, Harper Voyager, 400 pages).

This is the first book in the Ignite the Shadows series.

PREVIEW: Check out the book's synopsis and excerpt below. Read the first three chapters with Amazon Look Inside.

Ignite the Shadows is FREE on Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owner's Lending Library.

Author Ingrid Seymour will be awarding a $10 Amazon card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.   Please do take part: comment on our post and follow the tour where you will be able to read other excerpts (☀), and reviews (✍).


Synopsis | Trailer | Teaser | The Series | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

Synopsis

Sixteen-year-old Marci Guerrero is one of the best teen hackers in Seattle. However, she’d give up all her talents to know she isn’t crazy.

Marci feels possessed by what she perceives as shadowy spectres that take control of her body and make her do crazy things. While spying on the clandestine group known as IgNiTe, she’s confronted by the leader, James McCray. His presence stirs the spectres inside her brain into a maddening frenzy. Her symptoms and ability to control them don’t go unnoticed by James, who soon recruits her and shows her the awful truth.

Half of the world’s population is infected by sentient parasites. They bind themselves to the human brain and replace the pathways for all thoughts and actions. The creatures then morph their hosts into grotesque monsters with extraordinary strengths. Winged, clawed, fanged half-humans become living nightmares. Now Marci wishes she was crazy, because the truth is worse.

She’s infected.

Teaser: Excerpt

Chapter Two


     Panic sets in. I’m about to scream Xave’s name when I’m pitched forward, shoved from behind. My helmet flies off and hits the ground as my arms flail in an attempt to keep my balance. I take two staggering steps to avoid a fall, then whirl and strike a fighting pose, ready for anything. Xave is behind me, apparently furious enough to shove me. His own helmet is on the ground next to him, his shaggy, brown hair matted to his forehead.
      “What the hell! You trying to get us killed?” Xave shouts.
      My instinct is to jump and karate-kick his ass for pushing me, but I manage to control myself. I need to come up with an explanation for my screw-up and fast. I haven’t had one of these episodes in over a year and never in front of Xave. Even Mom thinks I’m over my “epileptic” attacks, as she chooses to call them—even though the doctors never gave that diagnosis.
      I take a deep breath and relax my arms. Sensei would be proud of me. Hell, I’m proud of me. I may only be five-foot-five, but I don’t let anyone push me around.Never have. Xave’s a year older than me and considerably taller, but I can give him a run for his money, if it comes to that.
      “What kind of stupid stunt was that, Marci?” Xave sounds as if he’s about to pop.“The cops, the freaking cops, were after us.”
      “Not for long,” I say, sounding smug, just the tone I need for the explanation he unknowingly provided me: a “stupid stunt.” I abandon my defensive stance and make a big show of dusting myself.
      Xave limps in my direction. Uh-oh, did he break something? I’ll feel really bad if he did. His black leathers creak with every step. He stops and looks down at me with a kind of anger I didn’t know him capable of. I watch him, wary of sudden moves. It would suck if this ended up in a nasty fight.
      Moonlight cuts through the trees above and bathes Xave’s face. His hazel eyes look nearly black, his high cheekbones sunken.
      “I’m tired of your cocky, I-can-do-it-all bull-crap,” he says. “If you want to go all Evel Knievel, do it on your own time. Leave me out of it, okay?”
      “Hey, you were the one who wanted to spy on Clark.” I take a step back, trying to put some distance between us.
      “All you had to do was be ready to drive off. But you couldn’t even do that.”Xave’s tone grates on my nerves. “Now Clark knows we were there and on his Yamaha.”
      At the last word, his face goes all Hulk-green or maybe it’s putty-gray, I can’t really tell in the dim moonlight. He points at the wrecked bike, hand shaking.
      “Look, I’ll get the bike fixed,” I say, using a conciliatory tone—though it’s a lame offer, considering that Xave already spent hours working on this bike. He’s good at fixing things. I think he got it from his mom. She likes crafts, doing detailed things with her hands. He says he’ll be a mechanic after school. “I’ll talk to Clark and tell him it was my—”
      “Screw you, Marci.”
      I flinch at the harshness in his voice. What’s wrong with him lately? I know I screwed up, but where is all this anger coming from? We’ve been in bigger trouble than this before.
      “Everything’s always so easy for you.” His tone is mocking. “Oh, I’ll tell him it was my idea,” he mimics me in a whiny voice, which sounds nothing like mine. “We’ll lie, steal and cheat. It’ll be okay. Just chill out, Xave. You worry too much.”
      “Hey, you’re pushing it,” I tell him, feeling a bit injured.
      “Am I? And what are you gonna do? Land me in jail when I least expect it?”
      I take a deep breath to control my rising temper. I can’t get angry right now. Not after what I just went through. “Let’s just go home and talk about it later before we regret it. Okay?”
      “I already regret it. I don’t know why I bother with you anymore.” His words hold a venom I can almost taste. “You’re selfish and immature. You never stop to think of anyone but yourself.”
      “You … don’t understand,” I say.
      “Understand what?” he demands.
      I feel like my only choice is to wait for his fury to die down. I can’t tell him about the mess inside my head. I’ve been hiding it from everyone for too long to start sharing now. He’ll think I’m crazy, and I’d rather continue lying than face his disappointment. I get enough of that from Mom.
      A part of me tells me I’m wrong, that I should trust him, that he’ll understand.Dare I listen to it?
      I clear my throat and begin in a weak voice, “I … lost control—”
      “You’re damn right you lost control.” His anger runs unchecked, killing what little courage I’d mustered. “My dad’s gonna have my hide and so is Clark. Did you stop to think about that?”
      There isn’t a good response, so I start toward the bike to avoid answering. When I walk past, Xave grabs my shoulder and makes me face him.
      “You didn’t answer my question. Did you stop to think about it?” His eyes look darker than a starless universe would.
      “No,” I say, because a “yes” would mean I did it intentionally. “I just thought we’d have a little fun, that’s all.”
      “Like I said, selfish!” The word echoes through the quiet patch of trees.
      “Is that what you think?”
      “Yes, that’s what I think!”
      Rage seethes inside me. He has no idea what he’s talking about. He thinks he knows me, has me all figured out. Well, he doesn’t know the half of it. No one does.Dad was the only one who ever tried to understand, but he’s gone and now I have only myself.
      Through another deep breath, I manage to stay in control. “Whatever,” I say, trying to sound like the brat he figures me for. I look for my helmet on the ground. I can get home on foot from here. We’re only a mile away. When I spot it, I pick it up and start walking away.
      “Oh, so now you’re leaving?” he says sarcastically.
      “That’s what selfish people do.”
      “It must be nice to live never having to face the consequences of anything you do.”
      I whirl. “Shut up, Xave. You don’t know what you’re talking about.” The anger rolls through me in waves. Automatically, my breathing slows and my thoughts shift at a million gigahertz a second. My defenses are second nature most of the time. They have to be. Anger is bad. Anything that can make me lose my concentration can bring the shadows back. That’s why my entire life I’ve felt as if I’m walking on eggshells, always afraid of cracking and spilling out my insides.
      “’Course I do. No one ever tells you anything or cramps your style with chores and speeches about responsibility. No one cares—” He abruptly stops.
      “Finish, Xave.” I dare him.
      He exhales, knowing he’s gone too far. A car drives by on the road, its headlights flooding our space for a quick couple of seconds. I see no hint of remorse in Xave’s face, but he doesn’t dare finish his sentence.
      “But no one cares about me? Is that what you were going to say? Huh?” I wait for a response. I can feel him teetering. He still wants to get to me, hurt me somehow.But he must know that if he goes there, whatever friendship we’ve shared will die. We’ve been through too much together to ruin everything over something like this. I can tell he’s thinking the same thing, but maybe his anger will beat his common sense.
      Sensing we’re at the brink of making a huge mistake, I walk away without saying a word and head north toward our neighborhood. I don’t look back. Xave can limp home for all I care, even if this is my fault. Maybe I am selfish, after all.
      Keeping to the shoulder, I move at a steady pace. I’m fuming, wondering if I could have handled this better. The air is crisp with winter’s bite. It makes every deep breath count. There are no street lamps on this side road, but the moon is full, the sky cloudless—a rarity in this damn city.
      I haven’t been to this small wooded area in years, but I can see why Xave and I used to like playing here. It’s quiet and hidden from prying neighbors and their objections to BB guns, baseballs and fireworks. God, that all seems so long ago. We were inseparable then and now it seems some huge wedge is making its way between us. He’s become so moody and sullen with me. I don’t get it. I fear things won’t ever be like they used to. The thought hurts.
      The smell of crushed pine needles wafts in the breeze, bringing back memories of happier times with my friend—many of them in these woods. I huff, thinking of the time he dared me to kiss him. He must have been ten and I, nine.
      “Now there’s a scary dare,” I said. “I’d rather kiss a slug.”
      “Not so brave, are you?” he said.
      “Oh, I’m brave, just not that brave.”
      He smiled wickedly. “All right, here’s another dare. Climb that tree.” He pointed at the tallest tree in the patch of woods.
      I was afraid of heights, afraid of anything that could trigger an attack, for that matter, but I wasn’t about to let him show me up, so I climbed the tree. The problem was, once I found myself fifteen feet off the ground, I panicked and lost all my courage. I started crying and fearing my mind would go blank. In seconds, Xave was by my side, perched on a thick branch.
      “Don’t worry. Don’t cry. I’ll help you get down,” he said.
      He tried to tell me where to place my feet and hands, but I was too scared to follow his instructions. When he realized it wasn’t going to work, he had me wrap myself around him, a little monkey on his back, and painstakingly climbed down. A few feet off the ground, his arms gave out and we plummeted to the ground. His weight knocked the air out of me.
      He hovered above, as I lay there inert. “Are you okay? Are you okay? I’m sorry.Please forgive me. I didn’t mean for you to get hurt.”
      When I opened my eyes, his nose was inches from mine, worry etched on his face. He was making sure I was still breathing.
      “You’re alive!” he exclaimed. “Thank God, you’re alive.”
      “You silly goose,” I said, using the endearment Dad often used with me. “Of course I’m alive.” Then I kissed him on the cheek.
      His eyes widened in surprise and after that we both rolled on the pine needles, laughing like idiots. I guess things have to change. We’re not kids anymore. I just wish we could still laugh about our misadventures. Instead, we’re yelling at each other.
      After a few minutes walking, I hear gravel crunching behind me. I try to ignore it and pick up my pace. The crunching is followed by a shuffle.
      Crunch, crunch, shuffle.
      Reluctantly, I look back and see Xave, pushing the bike forward a couple of feet, then dragging his right leg. He repeats the process, looking as pathetic as one of those dogs with wheels for legs.
      Damn it.
      I stop and hope Xave doesn’t make me regret doing so. I wait for interminable minutes for him to catch up. Surely, he’s taking his sweet time on purpose. When he reaches me, we say nothing and just stand there looking at anything but each other.
      “I’ll push the bike,” I tell him.
      He nods. We walk without exchanging any more words. Enough has been said already.

Ignite the Shadows
Available NOW!

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The Series: Ignite the Shadows

Eclipse the Flame [2]

The sequel to the epic IGNITE THE SHADOWS

In the new world of The Takeover nothing and no one is safe. Marci must choose: love or vengeance.

One night she secretly follows her lover to a club. To her horror she discovers those closest to her, mingling freely with parasitic creatures which have secretly possessed human minds. A bloody ambush follows, leaving Marci a shadow of her former self.

Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious attacks. Ignite, the only resistance group, is disintegrating. As the world catches fire, Marci struggles to control the buzzing spectres in her own head.

Her hardest battle is between the forces of good and evil within herself. For Marci must fight. She was meant to burn

[Published 11 August 2016, 400 pages]

About the Author

Ingrid Seymour is the author of IGNITE THE SHADOWS (Harper Voyager). When she’s not writing books, she spends her time working as a software engineer, cooking exotic recipes, hanging out with her family and working out. She writes young adult and new adult fiction in a variety of genres, including Sci-Fi, urban fantasy, romance, paranormal and horror.

Her favorite outings involve a trip to the library or bookstore where she immediately gravitates toward the YA section. She’s an avid reader and fangirl of many amazing books. She is a dreamer and a fighter who believes perseverance and hard work can make dreams come true.

She lives in Birmingham, AL with her husband, two kids and a cat named Mimi.

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