Exclusive Chapter 1 Reveal + Giveaway: Royal Marriage Market by Heather Lyons

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Heather Lyons has an exciting new romance coming tomorrow and it’s wonderful! It’s sweet and sexy, unique and endearing, and so easily devoured. This is an unlikely love story between Princess Elsa of Vattenguldia and the Duke of Aiboland, the charming Christian. I’m thrilled to share the first chapter of the story, as we get drawn in and learn what the Royal Marriage Market is all about!

Pre-order Royal Marriage Market for $1.99

Synopsis

Dec-15Every decade, the world’s monarchs and their heirs secretly convene to discuss global politics and social issues—and arrange marriages between kingdoms.

Elsa may be the Hereditary Princess of Vattenguldia, but she finds the entire situation archaic and unsavory. While she wants what’s best for her country, she isn’t about to jump into an unwanted relationship—let alone a marriage—with a virtual stranger. Of course, her feelings matter little to her parents, whose wheeling and dealings over trade pacts and alliances achieved at her expense begin the moment they set foot in California for the Summit. So when a blindingly handsome royal runs into her, she doesn’t hesitate to tell him there’s no way she’s marrying him.

Christian is all too happy to agree: no marriage. As the Hereditary Grand Duke of Aiboland, his main goal is to get through the summit without a bride being foisted on him. Which is why he suggests they help each other field potential intendeds. As Christian slowly gets to know Elsa, though, he realizes they have a lot more in common than just their feelings about the Royal Marriage Market. Only he can’t fall for her, because royal or not, they’re not meant for each other.

Elsa and Christian will have to evaluate matters of the heart verses those of state and crown, and decide whether or not tradition trumps love.

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Chapter 1

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About Heather

heather lyonsHeather Lyons writes epic, heartfelt love stories and has always had a thing for words. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher.

She and her husband and children live in sunny Southern California and are currently working their way through every cupcakery she can find.

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Spotlight Feature: The Collectors’ Society Encyclopedia by Heather Lyons

Oct-19

I’ve loved The Collectors’ Society by Heather Lyonsa modern day tale inspired by Alice in Wonderland. In the first book, we meet Alice as an adult, after she’s left Wonderland. She’s trying to integrate into society, but before she can even begin, she gets recruited by a secret organization to help defend countless of other fairy tales. Together with her partner Finn (yup, that’s Huckleberry Finn!), she sets out to uncover who threatens the lives of so many, kicking some serious butt along the way! On October 19th, Heather is releasing The Collectors’ Society Encyclopedia, with entries on each of the major characters and much more! I’m thrilled to give you a sneak peek at the book!

Pre-order exclusively on iTunes ✦

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CLASSIFIED MATERIAL

If you are reading this dossier, you have been granted Level Three clearance within the Collectors’ Society. Included in these pages are snippets from multiple key agent files as well as those on persons of interest. Please keep in mind that this compendium is considered highly sensitive and is illegal to share with anyone outside of your clearance. It is not to be removed from the Institute.

Happy reading!

—The Librarian

For those previously introduced to the mysterious Collectors’ Society and its mission, eager to discover more, The Collectors’ Society Encyclopedia is the perfect full-color companion piece to the series. Within are detailed entries elaborating upon various agents and employees as well as key villains suspected of targeting and destroying Timelines. Backstories, relationships, secrets, and clues are revealed alongside a thorough bibliography of important Timelines and their designations. Profiles are also included of the Institute in New York City as well as Wonderland. Society fans and lovers of classic literature will undoubtedly delight in unraveling the secrets that lay within these pages.

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The Collectors’ Society series is, at its very heart, my love letter to classic literature. As a child, I repeatedly immersed myself in stories by Lewis Carroll, Frances Hodgson Burnett, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Washington Irving, in ones by Charles Dickens, J.M. Barrie, and Mary Shelley. Stories, I learned all those years ago, were magic, because they could take you to foreign, exotic worlds as well as familiar ones, inhabited with all sorts of people fascinating, terrifying, and/or beautiful.

Books were and still are extraordinary gateways to the fantastical for me, and I have long preferred entering these doorways to new worlds than any found upon a movie screen.

I remember a very distinct feeling from childhood, one cultivated after reading the aforementioned books. Each time I immersed myself in one of those stories, I wished they were real, that the characters I grew to love (or even hate) were more than mere letters upon a page. It’s a sensation most bibliophiles know and cherish, I suspect. And it is this sensation that became the impetus behind The Collectors’ Society, a literary world in which books are more than paper, glue, and ink.

One of the extraordinary joys of writing and sharing the Collectors’ Society stories has been the numerous letters and messages from readers telling me that the series has inspired them to dig back into classics long forgotten or ignored. There was a genuine interest in the people inhabiting the Institute, an eagerness to know more about their roots. So when I was brainstorming what to do for fans at a signing I was at recently, one of my sons—who is currently obsessed with his Marvel Encyclopedia—suggested I create a Collectors’ Society Encyclopedia to help readers know more about the people within the Society.

Easy peasy, I thought to myself. What a nice, quick project.

Only, it wasn’t. Once I got started, the irresistible urge to really delve deep into more than just the main characters featured settled in. I wanted to do more than the bare basics—I wanted to really tell the backstories of the characters and let readers in on all the little things that I knew about these people. In order to this, I reread numerous classics associated with the series. I researched their authors’ lives and historical time periods. I studied scholarly analyses on the books and characters. A project I assumed could be completed in a week took nearly three months to craft.

It is a labor of love.

In The Collectors’ Society Encyclopedia, there are forty profiles of Society agents and villains/persons of interest, both major and minor. Vital statistics, key relationships, backstories, and a fun facts section are listed for each profile from the Librarian’s archives. A history of the Institute is included, as are an overview of Wonderland and a thorough bibliography of Timelines and their designations. The book is in full color, and chock full of hints, clues, and spoilers Society fans will love. There are numerous Easter eggs sprinkled throughout the pages, and everything included is canon to the mythology of the series. For those who have read the first three books (The Collectors’ Society, The Hidden Library, and The Forgotten Mountain), the Encyclopedia is the perfect compendium to add to their collection. I hope readers will enjoy delving deeper into these characters’ lives as I have!

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Reading Order

The encyclopedia is a companion book to the series.

About Heather

heather lyonsHeather Lyons writes epic, heartfelt love stories and has always had a thing for words. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher.

She and her husband and children live in sunny Southern California and are currently working their way through every cupcakery she can find.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

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Exclusive Chapter 1 Reveal + Signed Giveaway: The Forgotten Mountain by Heather Lyons

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The Collectors’ Society, by the talented Heather Lyons, is a fantastically gripping and imaginative series, and I’m so excited for the release of the third book, The Forgotten Mountain. The book is out this week, on June 25th, and I’ve got an exclusive look at Chapter 1!!! Plus, make sure to scroll to the bottom of the post to enter to win signed copies of The Collectors’ Society and The Hidden Library!

Synopsis

the forgotten mountain collectors societyAfter years spent in Wonderland, Alice Reeve learned the impossible was quite possible after all. She thought she left such fantastical realities behind when she finally returned to England.

Now Alice has become a member of the clandestine Collectors’ Society, and the impossible has found her again in the form of an elusive villain set on erasing entire worlds. As she and the rest of the Society race to bring this mysterious murderer to justice, the fight becomes painfully personal.

Lives are being lost. Loved ones are shattered or irrevocably altered. Each step closer Alice gets to the shadowy man she hunts, the more secrets she unravels, only to reveal chilling truths. If she wants to win this war and save millions of lives, Alice must once more embrace the impossible and make the unimaginable, imaginable.

Sometimes, the rabbit hole leads to terrifying places.

Chapter 1

The Girl With The Red Cloak – Alice

The door to my flat is wide open yet entirely sealed with webbing. I know this silk, have valued its strength in the past. I also know better than to attempt to tear it apart with bare hands, so I redirect to the flat next to mine. That particular door is unlocked—rarely do Society members lock their doors against one another—and when I enter, I sternly remind myself to remain levelheaded and calm.

Even though his smell is so utterly alluring and strong in here.

I locate what I desire in less than a minute: a pair of daggers left behind weeks ago, whilst I was too lazy or forgetful to bring them the scant distance back to my flat. I proceed to carefully check every single room, ensuring my focus remains on the task at hand rather than the memories clamoring to consume me. And yet, the muscle inside my chest squeezes, demanding notice.

Once satisfied the flat is secure, I return to my own. It takes several swipes of the daggers to slice through the tensile, and by the time I finally enter my quarters, sticky silk clings to my hair and clothes. This matters little, though. I have much graver concerns than whether or not my appearance is up to snuff.

Before me, the sitting area is in disarray, the few extraneous items I’ve allowed myself since my induction into the Society spread haphazardly across the room. The sole casualty of extreme violence appears to be a lamp in pieces upon the rug. Although it’s been hours since Lygari was within the walls of the Institute, my fingers curl tightly around my blades as I quietly make my way toward the bedroom.

Within, I discover a body of a child prone upon the floor next to the case securing my crown from Wonderland. Her eyes are darkened wide in shock, or perhaps even terror, as she gazes blankly at the ceiling. She has turned a mottled purple and is riddled with burst blisters. Yellowish pus crusts across the visible bits of skin, leaving her a ghastly sight to behold. And still, a smile curves my lips as my eyes fall upon a forgotten set of pan pipes nearby.

My grip loosens on the blades. “Are there any more I ought to be aware of?”

Not more than a second passes before a welcome sight scuttles out from behind the case. Larger than my hand, covered with prickly hair and adorned with lovely yet vicious fangs, the arachnid leaps upon a nearby dresser. “This is the only fiend to breach these quarters, Your Majesty.”

“You have my gratitude, Grymsdyke.”

He lowers himself down upon two legs. “I live to serve the Queen of Diamonds.”

I side skirt the body and sit upon the edge of my bed. “I would ask for your report.”

My most deadly assassin coughs as he straightens his body. “Shortly prior to your departure last night, His Majesty the White King of Wonderland convened the Cheshire-Cat, myself, and the Five of Diamonds. After I reassured His Majesty I would remain at this Institute, he bade me to ensure that, if I was not in active service to my liege, I might keep an eye on the Diamonds’ crown. Although assured by the proprietors within these walls of its safety, His Majesty is, as he has always been, greatly concerned about your safety. I was glad to offer this small bit of service toward the Diamonds’ throne.”

Another bow is offered; I incline my head.

“The White King and the Cheshire-Cat did not feel comfortable remaining behind whilst you hunted a foe. His Majesty stated he would accompany you to the gala, and once he departed, the Cheshire-Cat and the Five of Diamonds retired to their quarters to discuss matters back home. I came straightaway to your chambers. Soon after, this child arrived, playing dissonant music on her instrument. As I did not recognize her, there was no hesitation to attack.”

My eyes fall once more upon the child’s body. Dressed in a dirty red cloak, she cannot be more than ten, perhaps twelve years of age at the most. And still, I cannot muster the proper amount of grief one ought to feel at the demise of one so young.

Youth or no, she possessed a set of pipes like Gabriel Lygari’s.

“None other dared enter my chambers?”

“None, my lady.”

“The music did not affect you?”

Grymsdyke’s body tilts. “It was most unpleasant. The child was a terrible musician. I have done the world a favor.”

“Indeed you have.” I rise. “Unfortunately, there are more unpleasant tasks ahead of us in the coming days.”

“I am yours to command, my lady.”

“I suppose I must go inform someone that there is a body to dispose of.” I bend down and retrieve the pipes. They are wooden, the barrels nearly gleaming, they’ve been used so much. “Ensure there are no more stray musicians lingering about within the Institute.”

I’m offered a final bow before Grymsdyke scurries up the wall and out the door.

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Reading Order and Links

 

About Heather Lyons

heather lyonsHeather Lyons writes epic, heartfelt love stories and has always had a thing for words. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. She and her husband and children live in sunny Southern California and are currently working their way through every cupcakery she can find.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

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Exclusive Chapter 1 Excerpt: The Hidden Library (#2, The Collectors’ Society) by Heather Lyons

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Alice and Finn are back, ready to do what must be done to keep the timelines from being destroyed. The Hidden Library is the second book in The Collectors’ Society series, and I loved it!!! In this second, electrifying installment, we get to know Finn on a deeper level, see their relationship evolve, and witness Alice become stronger… a true force to be reckoned with. It’s sexier than it’s predecessor, with romance, action and mystery suffused on every page. I’m super excited to share a part of Chapter 1—an excerpt that shows us what a kickass heroine Alice can be. She’s smart and fearless and willing to do whatever it takes to complete the task at hand.

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Synopsis

the hidden library collectors societySometimes, the rabbit hole is deeper than expected . . .

Alice Reeve and Finn Van Brunt have tumbled into a life of secrets. Some secrets they share, such as their employment by the clandestine organization known as The Collectors’ Society. Other secrets they carry within them, fighting to keep buried the things that could change everything they think they know.

On the hunt for an elusive villain who is hell-bent on destroying legacies, Alice, Finn, and the rest of the Society are desperate to unravel the mysteries surrounding them. But the farther they spiral down this rabbit hole, the deeper they fall into secrets that will test their loyalties and pit them against enemies both new and old.

Secrets, they come to find, can reveal the deadliest of truths.

Chapter 1 Excerpt

Interrogation Techniques – Alice

“You and I are due for a talk, don’t you think? Lady to lady.”

The cackles erupting from the woman before me would make the sorceresses of Wonderlandian lore proud. Or even the Red Queen, who often practiced perfecting such a laugh to be used during the Red Court’s infamous bandersnatch arena games. Rage has turned Rosemary’s eyes bloodshot yet glassy, and with her black hair dipped white and in a bird’s-nest array around her head, she promises to be a fright to behold for many.

I am not afraid of Rosemary, though. Especially not when she is constrained as she is.

We are in one of the Institute’s more secure rooms with a locked door behind me. The only piece of furniture within is the chair she’s strapped to. Everything else was hastily removed prior to our entrance.

The Collectors’ Society, the clandestine organization I work for, never saw fit for such a space prior to the last few days. While technologically advanced and cunning, their specialties have lain in the acquisition and preservation of catalysts from various Timelines, not the capture and interrogation of villains. But two such persons newly reside within the Institute’s walls, and answers must be taken, whether willingly or through force.

As my partner is currently embroiled in important meetings, I am the woman to happily provide such coercion.

“What is your name?”

Spittle flies from between Rosemary’s lips. “Go fuck yourself, you ugly bitch whore!” A frenzy overtakes her, much like the berserkers of yore. She shouts, she struggles against the straps binding her to the chair, she froths at the mouth. And then, just when it appears she might burst out of her skin and morph into a beast, she begins singing in a voice so beautiful, so rich and pure, a woman with a softer heart than mine might shed a tear over it.

Unfortunately for her, though, I am no such lady.

Carry on, beyond the skies,

beyond tumultuous sea,

to the heart of the mountain

lies wondrous future for ye.

Sing, sing, little children!

Spill blood graciously.

Rest assured, in the end,

treasure and glory await thee.

The villainess’ head tilts back, her eyes close. Her voice lowers and begins anew.

Fear not the blade of death,

fear not the hole of time.

Come, come, little children!

Harken to beauteous sign.

The small earpiece I am wearing vibrates as Mary Lennox’s voice says, “Well, if she isn’t crazier than a bag of hungry opossums, then I don’t know what’s what.”

I am unsure of what opossums are, but I feel it is safe to agree with my colleague’s assessment. I have known and fought many a crazed lady in my life, but Rosemary is one of the most unsettling. The others—the Queens of Red, Hearts, and White—all had method and rationale behind their madnesses and were more than happy to wax eloquent on issues when queried. I may have rarely agreed with their actions, but I knew what made them tick. This woman, who has attacked me multiple times and is suspected to have destroyed numerous Timelines and thereby murdering countless souls, cannot willingly offer up any rhyme or reason for her actions.

She is an alien creature if there ever was one.

I cannot allow what she has done to continue, even though Rosemary is now in Society custody. A team of our agents captured her and an associate whilst several others and I were acquiring the Wonderlandian catalyst. Unfortunately for all, though, S. Todd, Rosemary’s assumed paramour and partner, escaped after annihilating a catalyst and slashing Abraham Van Brunt’s throat. The Society’s leader is currently recovering in a nearby hospital and doing well, but the events have left our organization impatient to bring these fiends to justice.

I clap politely whilst Rosemary softly hums another stanza. Her eyes close in rapture, her head slumps forward. “What a pretty song. The time for such diversions is over, though. What is your full name?”

Rage overtakes her once more. This time, her fits send her and the chair she’s strapped to toppling over onto the ground. From there, she lashes about like a fish out of water.

I step forward, crouching down over her sideways body until I have her pinned sufficiently below me. She gnashes her teeth, snarling like a rabid beast. I carefully take hold of her jaw, ensuring my fingers remain safe from her overly sharp-appearing teeth. “You are responsible for the deletion of numerous Timelines. True or false?”

Attempts to whip her head about are stymied by both my grip and the awkward angle of her body trapped beneath mine. “Eat shit,” she hisses.

I am undeterred at her pathetic efforts. She no longer holds the upper hand, no matter what delusions she suffers under. “Where is S. Todd?”

“You’re going to die, bitch!”

Further questions are answered with loudly voiced assurances of my upcoming albeit untimely demise. I am close to violence when a thought comes to me.

I release her face and stand up. Interestingly enough, my sudden retreat has left her momentarily stunned.

“Alice?” Mary’s voice fills my ear. “Is everything okay?”

My colleague has been observing the interrogation via a security camera stationed in the corner of the room. To answer, I push on the small earpiece. “Have the door opened.”

Rosemary resumes her cackling. She thinks she has bested me, and I allow her this piece of assumed yet false accomplishment.

When I exit the room and the door is locked behind me, I instruct the guard, “As she chose to fall to the ground, leave her be.” And then I make my way to the nearby medical wing of the Institute.

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Reading Order and Links

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About Heather Lyons

heather lyonsHeather Lyons writes epic, heartfelt love stories and has always had a thing for words. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. She and her husband and children live in sunny Southern California and are currently working their way through every cupcakery she can find.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

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