Monday, April 26, 2010

Leanna Renee Hieber's DARKLY LUMINOUS Haunted London Blog Tour! *Book Giveaway*

Mho Fho is so very excited to welcome 2009 Prism Award Winner and Barnes & Noble Bestseller, Leanna Renee Hieber. Not only does Mho have a mad crush on Lennna (she did give him an almost exact replica of Alexi's cravat), but we are very happy to be the first stop on Leanna's Darkly Luminous tour to promote, The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker, which will be out tomorrow.

Thanks Katie (and Mho) for starting us off! It’s always so great to be here in the company of fellow cravat lovers. Just like last year’s Strangely Beautiful Haunted London Blog tour, we’re continuing with more real ghost stories I use in the Strangely Beautiful series, this time in celebration of the release of the sequel; THE DARKLY LUMINOUS FIGHT FOR PERSEPHONE PARKER! (Releases tomorrow!!)

About the Book: “Death-pale Percy Parker was a beacon for Fate. True love had found her, in the tempestuous form of Professor Alexi Rychman. But her mythic destiny was not complete. Foretold by ghosts with which she alone could converse; a war was coming. Victorian London would be overrun by a spectral host. Yet, within mighty Athens Academy, alongside The Guard who shielded mortals from the agents of the Underworld, she counted herself among friends. Wreathed in hallowed fire, they would stand together, no matter what dreams or nightmares—may come.”

About the Tour: I’ve had a life-long love for the 19th century, England and ghosts. London is alive with history, thriving not only with the pulsing energy of the living, but the restless energy of the dead. When my hero Professor Alexi Rychman and his Guard of spectral police make their rounds, it is to any number of real, documented, familiar London phantasms. Since the sprits are familiar to The Guard, I don’t get the opportunity to tell the complete ghost story. But these tales are too good not to tell in full, spooky splendor. (Special thanks to London ghost and Ripper expert Richard Jones, whose books and tours are my go-to resource).

Day 1 – Highgate Cemetery

We’re back to Highgate again in Darkly Luminous, a vast and beautiful graveyard in the “Garden Style” which is located between the Highwayman-Haunted Hampstead Heath and the forbiddingly attractive grounds of the grand Rychman Estate.

Highgate was founded in 1839 and quickly became the most ‘fashionable’ place for eternal rest. It is indeed the City of the Dead and by the beginning of the 1900s thousands upon thousands found their eternal rest within its 20 hillside acres, and many spirits through the years have been loathe to leave it behind. This time, rather than merely referencing Highgate as I did last book, I decided the place needed some ‘ghostbusting’…

From The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker:

“What’s Highgate?” asked Percy.

“The great graveyard, where London’s most fashionable dead are interred. Quite a place to see,” Josephine replied.

The carriages set off, and soon tips of obelisks and angels in the distance heralded Highgate’s approach.

Alexi’s hand was pressed firmly over Percy’s, and he stared ahead with fastidious concentration. A congregation of ghosts glowed just inside the fast-approaching gate.

Alexi helped her down once their carriage pulled to a halt. Visiting hours had long since passed, but Michael held out his hand and the enormous locked gate swung wide. A ring of dead children coiled at the centre, but there was an additional flank of unrest. Adult spirits lined the tall iron gates of Highgate, waiting. Swaying. And speaking. For Percy, there was no bugle call to arms, there was only a torrent of whispers. Percy felt her stomach roil, and she wondered if the head of a cavalry charge felt the same.

“You hear something, don’t you?” Alexi asked, watching her, knowing she was picking up on what he and his group could not.

“They’re all speaking, Alexi, the children, in some sickening rhyme, and the others…Well, the others think you have brought me as an offering. As one of them. But I don’t know what they want.”

“My attention. I’ve been away. These spectral delinquents require the firm hand of a master.” And with that he gestured to The Guard, who darted forward among the grand monuments.

Surrounded by graceful angels, carved mausoleums and fine crosses, a bright, full moon illuminating the scene, Percy couldn’t help but be taken with the eerie light particular to a graveyard; the luminosity of an eternal crossroads.

Her husband lifted a hand toward the children, who suddenly seemed as curious as the adults to see Percy. Tendrils of blue flame snaked forth like ivy from his palm, and he became the great conductor. The transparent adult phantoms squealed and giggled or wailed like banshees, one by one realizing Percy was indeed living flesh. Before they could comment further, Alexi wrapped glowing cords of light around wrists, waists and necks, attaching them in fiery shackles.

The Guard’s power rose; the blue fire crackling forth from their circular conduit, reaching upward in tall flames that tickled the feet of the bobbing young spirits, who sobered, their small eyes angry. “Beware the wrath!” one little girl in a white nightgown called, wagging a finger at Alexi. “He’ll lock you away, he will!”

The other children picked up the taunt. “He’ll lock you all away!”

“Children, I demand that you go to bed this instant!” Rebecca cried, using her best headmistress tone. Alexi followed the admonishment with a renewed swat of blue fire. The spirits screwed up their faces and descended, sinking again into the earth beneath the small gravestones marked with lambs and flowers, floating onward to where Percy did not know. The sight saddened her, but at least it was quiet.

Returning to their carriages, Rebecca addressed only Alexi. “Athens?”

Alexi raised an eyebrow. “Now?”

“I don’t mean to alarm you, Alexi, but what’s happening on the grounds is so…strange. Oughtn’t you come? There are matters—”

“Rebecca, dear, it’s near midnight. Fresh phantasms can await the dawn.”

“Indeed,” said the headmistress, her mouth thinning. She straightened her shoulders and marched off.

Percy watched her retreat. A few paces behind her was Michael, attempting to be noticed. Rebecca deigned to allow him to ride back in the same carriage, and they vanished into its interior. A thought occurred. “You would have gone, wouldn’t you? Before?” she asked Alexi.

“What do you mean?”

“Before our marriage. You would have gone to Athens. Rebecca seemed surprised. Disappointed. I’m all right, Alexi. If you should go, please don’t hold back on my account.”

“I’m taking you home, and that’s final,” he said. The scorching look in his eyes made Percy’s body flood with heat. “We must dole out your supernatural excitement in pieces. I’ll not subject you to more, no matter what may lie in wait at Athens.”

(End of Excerpt)

Doesn't Mho look so dashing in his sexy cravat?

Want to win your own signed copy of The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker, second in the Strangely Beautiful series? Leave a comment her for Leanna by Thursday 4/29 and you can be one of the lucky ones to wrestle the copy away from Mho. Sorry, only for US residents.

And the saga continues with “A Christmas Carroll”(Strangely Beautiful #2.5) novella in Dorchester’s A Midwinter Fantasy anthology this October! The Darkly Luminous Haunted London Blog Tour continues daily until May 4th! Click here to view the other stops on the tour.

Blessings! - Leanna Renee Hieber

Connect with Leanna:


Kwana said...

Hi Leanna nice seeing you on tour. Congrats!!
And yes, Katie, Mho looks sooo sexy.

Aemelia said...

Leanna, I'm thrilled that you are getting the word out about your newest book.
I want this - I loved Percy and Alexi, and have been looking forward to their continuing story, can't wait to see what is in store for them.

jedisakora said...

Hi Leanna,
I can't wait to read your newest book. ^^ I was so very glad to hear there was a sequel to the first!


Sherry said...

Sounds like a great book and I can't wait to read it.

Sherry said...

Can't wait- loved the first one! Adorn the hero and the era.

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

I love Highgate Cemetary, and I wish that it were possible to seem some of the more interesting graves. I can't wait to buy this book tomorrow.

LSUReader said...

This book sounds great. Thanks so much for the tour and post.

Christine Rose said...

Alexi. Can't wait to read more!

Christine Rose said...

My *sigh* didn't show up! That was supposed to read...

*sigh* Alexi

But he's worth a double sigh. No doubt.

Aria said...

I keep hearing this title all over...and I really want it even more! Great post.

JenM said...

I waited until the second book was coming out before picking up the first one because I hate to wait in between books, but it's at the top of the TBR pile now. Good luck with the new book.

donnas said...

Great excerpt. I am looking forward to reading the whole things. Congrats on the release!

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Liza said...

Looks like I need to add 2 more books to my TBR pile. The excerpt has hooked me, but I like to read books in order.

Mho-you look so sexy and dashing.

Melissa said...

Love that blurb from the book. I really need to read these books!

Leanna Renee Hieber said...

Thanks for launching the Tour, Mho! You and your sexy cravat!

Thanks familiar friends and readers for your excitement (and for your love of Alexi, indeed) and thanks for new readers for stopping by and getting involved, I dearly hope you enjoy the series!

orannia said...

Mho looks utterly gorgeous in his cravat! Very interesting excerpt - I'm guessing there was...mounds of research required for this book Leanna?

All the best with the release!

Oh, and please don't include me in the giveaway :)

Lady_Graeye said...

Leanna and Kate! Happy Tour Launch Day! Congrats! I am so excited for tomorrow! Release Day! Yeah! I think I have been waiting for this as long as you have. I can't wait to get my hands on it. Have a great day!

Karen W. said...

Hi, Leanna,

Congrats on the release! I love the covers of your books, and they sound awesome!

Barbara E. said...

Great post. I loved the first book in the Strangely Beautiful series and I'm looking forward to reading The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker. I can't wait to see what further adventures Percy and Alexi get up to.

Jess said...

Can't wait for this book to come out!! I loved the first one!!

Leanna Renee Hieber said...

Orianna, one of my favourite parts of my reasearch was simply reading novels written in the 19th century, it was a focus of mine in college. In addition, my favourite part was researching the ghosts, that was something I had to do specifically for these books and it was such a delight to incorporate them as background into my world. Thanks for coming by!

Lady Graeye, Barbara and Jess, I'm so thrilled you're excited for this book, thank you for coming to celebrate with me, blessings and I'm looking forward to continuing the Strangely Beautiful journey with all of you!

angie said...

I just wanted to let you know I have heard great things about your book and know can't wait to read it! Thanks to bloggers I am able to find new books I may not have seen before!!

Smokinhotbooks said...

Love this series, love it love love it.

Lookin' good Mho.

Roxy said...

Loved the first book! Can't wait to read this one!

Cybercliper said...

Accck-my computer hates me - will try again. I loved Strangly Beautiful and have really been looking forward to Darkly Luminous - congrats on the newest release! annhonATaolDOTcom

Audra said...

Please enter me into your contest I can't wait to read your book!!!!

etirv said...

I've been waiting for this book, please count me in!