July 9, 2018

Willa of the Wood Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway

Willa of the Wood
Author: Robert Beatty
Release Date: July 10, 2018
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion


From #1 New York Times bestselling author Robert Beatty comes a spooky, thrilling new series set in the magical world of Serafina. 

Move without a sound. Steal without a trace. 

Willa, a young nightspirit of the Great Smoky Mountains, is her clan's best thief. She creeps into the homes of day-folk in the cover of darkness and takes what they won't miss. It's dangerous work — the day-folk kill whatever they do not understand. But when Willa's curiosity leaves her hurt and stranded in a day-folk man's home, everything she thought she knew about her people — and their greatest enemy — is forever changed.

Find it:Goodreads, Amazon, Audible, B&N, iBooks, TBD
Chapter 6

A large wolf emerged from the forest a few feet in front of her, her silver-gray eyes studying Willa intently.
And then, behind the leader of the pack, she saw the others—the pale blue eyes of the younger wolves, and the gray and golden-brown eyes of the older wolves.
These were the great warriors of the forest, the clawers and the biters, and on any other night they might have tracked and taken down a little creature like her.
But Willa looked into the eyes of the leader of the pack, crouched down to the ground in front of her, and said the words to her again.
“Un don natra dunum far.”
The leader of the pack stared at her. She was a beautiful animal, with a thick blackish-gray coat and the muscles of many hunts.  She  had a strong  nose  and mouth,  and held  her ears up high, alert for the coming danger—the man and his dog coming toward them through the forest. Wolves and the other animals of the forest didn’t have names in the English language of the day-folk, but in the old language, Willa knew her name was Luthien. She looked so different from the winter before, when Willa had met her and helped her, when the wolf had lain on the forest floor, shot by a hunter and torn by his hounds. And now, by the flow of time, all had come around.
Luthien lay down on her haunches so close at Willa’s side that  she  could  feel  the  warmth  of  the  wolf’s  fur  against  her shoulder. Wincing in pain, but knowing that it was her only hope to live, Willa crawled onto the wolf’s back.
The day-folk man had seen her in his lair and wounded her. She didn’t understand why he had tried to help her in the barn, what kind of trick or twist of hatred had compelled him to such an act, but she knew she could not trust a human. And she knew that now that he had seen her, he would not let her go. He and his snarling dog and his clanking box of captured light and his killing metal were coming, moments away now, thrash- ing through the forest, trampling leaf and breaking branch, to capture her and pull her back into their world.
As Luthien rose to her feet, Willa wrapped her arms around the thick scruff of the wolf’s neck.
“The dog in the man’s pack has the nose to track us,” Willa said in the old language, knowing the wolf would  know what to do.
As the man and his dog came through the undergrowth of the forest, Luthien turned and looked at the other wolves of the pack. With a tilt of her head and a turn of her body, she gave the command. The other wolves turned and dashed in a dozen directions into the forest, yipping and yelping as they ran, as if inviting the coming enemy to pursue them.
The moment they were gone, Luthien lunged into the darkness and leapt into running speed. Suddenly, Willa was flying through the forest, her hair whipping behind her. Her shoulder burned with pain, and the blood from the cut on her head was dripping onto Luthien’s thick coat, but Willa felt the joy of it, too, clinging to the wolf’s back, tearing through the forest faster than she ever had gone. The trunks of the trees rushed past her. Great jutting rocks flashed by. The leaves of the bushes were but puffs of air swishing against her face. She felt the driving beat of the wolf’s heart against her own, the air surging into the wolf’s lungs, and the heat pouring out of the wolf’s open mouth as she ran, her teeth gleaming in the moonlight.
Willa looked into the forest to their left and to their right to see two strong male wolves running with them, guarding their flanks. Craning her neck, she saw that two young wolf pups were following close behind.
She couldn’t see the other wolves of the pack anymore, but she knew they were out there, running through the forest in opposite directions. There was no way for even the keenest tracking dog to follow them all.
“The wolves teach us how to work together,” her mamaw had told her. “They hunt together, defend their territory together, play together, and raise their pups together. It’s through their love for one another that they survive.” Willa knew she wasn’t a wolf and never could be, but it was the kind of kinship that she had always longed for.
Leaving the ravine of the river far behind them, Luthien climbed up through the rocky, forested ridges of the high  ground, taking Willa up the slope of what the Faeran people called the Great Mountain. The Cherokee called it Kuwa’hi.  But the day-folk called it Clingmans Dome on their maps, made from the ground-up flesh of trees. It seemed as if all the locations in her world had many names, old names and new, night names and day, as if the names, too, were fighting to possess these ancient places. It was seldom used anymore, but one of her favorite names for this place was the Smoky Mountain, for she had seen it say its name many times: in the waking dawn of each new morning, the white mist of the Smoky Mountain’s breath floated near its rounded top and out across the world, flowing down into hidden coves and sweeping valleys, out to the other mountains and ridges, and down through the fog-shrouded trees and over the tumbling misty rivers, as if the Smoky Mountain itself breathed the life into the world each morning and took it back again each night.
Dead Hollow, the hidden lair of her people, was way up on the north slope of the Great Mountain, a place so treacherously remote, and so shadowed by thick trees and steep ridges, that no day-folk had ever trodden there.
But as she gazed around her through her blood-blurry eyes, she realized that wasn’t the direction the wolves were going.
“Where are we going?” she tried to ask in the old language, but her voice was too thin and raspy to be  heard.

As she clung to Luthien’s back, she felt herself getting weaker and colder, the sticky blood oozing from her wound and down her side. She held on desperately to the warmth of Luthien’s fur, but her eyes drifted shut and she began to slip away. All she could feel was the undulating motion of the running  wolf.

Robert Beatty is the author of the #1 New York Times best selling Serafina Series published by Disney-Hyperion, a spooky mystery-thriller about a brave and unusual girl who lives secretly in the basement of the grand Biltmore Estate.

Serafina and the Black Cloak was a #1 New York Times best seller, has been on the list for more than 45 weeks, and won the prestigious 2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize. The second book in the series, Serafina and the Twisted Staff, became a #1 New York Times best seller in the first week of its launch and earned a “Starred Review” from Kirkus Reviews, which said, “Even better than its predecessor, a sequel that delivers nonstop thrills from beginning to end.” Enjoyed by both young readers and adults, the books are being taught in over a thousand classrooms nationwide. The third book in the Serafina series comes out in July 2017. Robert Beatty has been awarded an additional four book deal with Disney-Hyperion.

Robert Beatty lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina with his wife and three daughters, who help create and refine his stories. He loves to explore Biltmore Estate and the darkened forest trails where his novels take place. He writes full-time now, but in his past lives, Robert was one of the early pioneers of cloud computing, the founder/CEO of Plex Systems, the co-founder of Beatty Robotics, and the chairman/CTO of Narrative Magazine. In 2007, he was named an Entrepreneur of the Year.

(3) winners will win a finished copy of WILLA OF THE WOOD - US Only!

Tour Schedule: 
Week One:
7/2/2018- jrsbookreviews- Review 
7/3/2018- YA Books Central- Interview 
7/4/2018- Here's to Happy Endings- Review 
7/5/2018- History from a Woman’s Perspective- Review 
7/6/2018- The OWL- Review 
Week Two: 
7/9/2018- A Dream Within A Dream- Excerpt 
7/10/2018- A Backwards Story- Interview 
7/11/2018- Novel Novice- Guest Post 
7/12/2018- Don't Judge, Read- Review 
7/13/2018-  Two points of interest- Review 

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