I’m happy to share with you today my post for the blog tour of ANALIESE RISING by Brenda Drake! This YA Paranormal Fantasy has an eye-catching cover and if you keep reading my post you’ll find more on the book, the author, read two excerpts, have the chance to enter a fantastic giveaway, and more!
by Brenda Drake
Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy
Release Date: January 8th 2019
When a stranger gives Analiese Jordan a list of names before he dies, the last thing she expects to see is her own on it. Not. Cool. Her search for answers leads to the man’s grandson, Marek, who has dangerous secrets of his own. Both are determined to unlock the mystery of the list. But the truth is deadly. Analiese is a descendant of the God of Death, known as a Riser, with the power to raise the dead and control them. Finding out she has hidden powers? Cool. Finding out she turns corpses into killers? No, thank you.
Now the trail plants her and Marek in the middle of a war between gods who apparently want to raise an army of the Risen, and Analiese must figure out how to save the world—from herself.
A faint white light flickers and fades.
“Come on, Marek. Quit messing around.”
A smell of sulfur wafts through the air.
The light nears and grows, forming into a body. Into a ghostly-looking man. Anger is set on his almost transparent face. The sockets where eyes should be are dark and empty.
I know his face. A face seemingly hanging loosely off sharp bones. A face I’ve seen in duplicate.
Deceducto, risorto, deceducto.
Isabella Favero’s experiment.
I scramble on my back up the stairs, make it halfway before I lose my footing, and slip back down. Pain sears my back.
“What do you want?” I try to yell, but it comes out more like a croak.
The ghostly figure moans and keeps moving towards me. Several similar lights begin to form behind him, and I want to close my eyes, but I’m not sure that will make them go away.
They move closer.
The others form faces, and there are so many of them. I recognize some of them from their headshots taped in Isabella’s record book.
The moaning grows louder, piercing. A chorus of pain. A chorus of sadness.
A chorus of hatred.
I slowly move back up the stairs, afraid to go fast. There are so many faces. Old and young. Men and women. Bile rises in the back of my throat when I spot a little girl in the mix.
“What do you want?” I’m sobbing, my words are wet, and there’s no air behind them.
The moaning turns to screeching.
“I’m not her,” I shout. “Isabella did this to you.”
They stop at the foot of the stairs. Faces turn up to me, watching me with hollow eyes. Expressionless faces. All their emotions are saved for the hideous moaning. It’s full of pain and anguish. Torture.
I can’t breathe.
Their second deaths flip through my mind, and I can’t stop it. Each the same. They wake up suddenly and look around dazed. I can see the mortuary. Other bodies on tables.
Confusion. Isabella says something, but I can’t understand her. It’s in Italian. She makes notes. Picks up a plastic bag, covers a man’s head with it, and suffocates him.
The lantern dims.
“No. Don’t go out,” I order it. “Please don’t go out.”
It flickers in response.
The images and moaning stop, and the whispers hiss around me.
Riser. Riser. Riser. Riser. Riser. Riser. Ri— I cover my ears.
Scratching noises come from behind the wall on either side of me. No matter how tight I cover my ears, I can still hear the hissing chants of the spirits and the frantic scraping of whatever is on the other side of the walls.
“No! Leave me alone!”
It’s like demons have control of my head. This isn’t real.
Something is making me see these things. Push it away. Stop it.
And the lantern goes a little dimmer.
“Marek!” Where the hell is he?
Something breaks through the wall on my left.
The flame puffs out.
I take off in the other direction. My Vans pound hard against the cobblestones. Marek is panting behind me.
“Ana, slow down!” he yells.
Only when I go around a corner do I cease running. I grab my side and catch my breath.
Marek eases to a stop beside me, breathing heavily. “I thought you were ditching me.”
“I couldn’t stay there,” I say. “Not with those things around.”
Marek checks the time on the GPS screen. “We need to keep moving. It’s a little after one. The Louvre doesn’t open until nine.”
“What are we going to do?”
“We’re going to keep walking. See Paris. Maybe get coffee when a café opens. Try to get our minds off what just happened.”
“Sounds like a plan.” I shiver. “It’s so cold.”
We walk. Sometimes there’s a bench, and we sit. My face and hands are like ice. My head is throbbing, so are my feet. I need coffee. Or better, a bed.
The quaint backstreets of Montmartre are quiet at almost three in the morning. We reach the square, and I stand on one of the corners. Streetlamps line the block, giving little light, but I recognize the buildings.
“Right here,” I say. “This square is filled with artists displaying their work during the day. My parents took a photograph in this exact spot.”
Marek ambles over and pretends he’s holding up a camera. “Say cheese.”
It takes a second for what he’s doing to register, but when it does, I’m suddenly warm inside, and I flash him a smile.
He clicks the pretend camera.
We make our way up the hill toward Sacré-Coeur Basilica. Its spotlighted facade calls to us. The white stone chapel with its three considerable arches in front, dome roofs, and bell tower overlooks Paris. The city is a black sea at night with beacons of light spreading across its surface. The Eiffel Tower is hidden behind buildings and trees.
I sit on a step. “In one photo, my mother sits here alone. I bet my father took it.”
Marek raises his hands and takes another fake picture. His nose is red from the cold. “How are you holding up?” he asks.
The wind brushes my hair away from my face, and a chill slips down my back. “I’m numb. Can’t feel my toes.”
“We could ride the Metro. Get warm.” He pulls the collar of his coat up and tucks his scarf inside.
“No. We need to eat.”
“You’re tough,” he says.
“We have to budget.” I skip down a few steps. “Tomorrow, after we’re done at the Louvre, we’ll go to the embassy, then I’ll call my grandparents. Have them wire money.”
“Come on.” He grasps my hand and leads me to the side of the chapel.
The wind bites at my skin. I stuff my free hand into my pocket and stare through some trees, and I can barely make out the Eiffel Tower in the dark. Only a few lights and its silhouette can be seen at this time of the morning.
Brenda Drake grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. With kids of all ages populating Brenda’s world, it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical for both younger readers and the young at heart. And because she married her prince charming, there’s always a romance warming the pages. Her favorite books are The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, Kings Row by Henry Bellamann, and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. When she’s not writing, she hosts workshops and contests for writers such as Pitch Wars and Pitch Madness on her blog, and holds Twitter pitch parties on the hashtag, #PitMad. In her free time, Brenda enjoys hanging out with her family, haunting libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or just reading someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).
The Top Ten
Guest post by author Brenda Drake
There are several gods in Analiese Rising. Listing my top ten favorite gods and goddesses from the mythologies from around the world was difficult. There are so many that would make number one for me. So I decided to list them in the order of my favorites in the book, and here they are.
Sidapa comes from Philipine mythology. He’s the god of death. In the novel, he doesn’t have his power anymore. He’s in love with the Bulan and sees him only during the full moon when the other god can come down to earth.
Oyá is from African mythology. She’s an Orisha of winds, lightning, and violent storms, death, and rebirth. She’s a kick butt goddess, and she makes a grand entrance into the story.
Lugh comes from the Irish mythology. He’s a trickster god. There’s hardly nothing he can’t do. He has so many powers and magical items. I decided to explore his more trickster side which was tons of fun to create.
Thor aka Bjorn—do I need to tell you about him? Okay, I will anyway. He’s the hammer-wielding Norse god who can control lightning and thunder. In my novel, he goes by one of his many aliases, Bjorn.
Inanna, the ancient Mesopotamian goddess associated with love, beauty, war, and political power, keeps Ares on his toes. She’s a strong goddess and doesn’t let others walk over her.
Horus is a sky god in ancient Egyptian mythology. He’s associated with the falcon.
Ares is the Greek god of war. He’s arrogant and an instigator.
Bastet, the Egyptian goddess of protection, used to be worshipped as a lion form before becoming a cat.
Pazuzu is the Babylonian demon god. He’s the demon that possessed the little girl in The Omen. I have to say it creeped me out writing him.
Janus is the Roman god of beginnings, transitions, doorways and passages, endings, and time. In the novel, he protects the entrance into a creepy catacomb that Analiese and Marek must enter to search for a clue left behind by Marek’s grandfather.
There we have it, ten of my favorite gods and goddesses from Analiese Rising. Who are your favorites from the mythologies around the world?
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