Monday, August 12, 2019

Altered by Vicki Steifel ~ Excerpt & Giveaway


Altered
Vicki Stiefel
(The Made Ones Saga, #1)
Publication date: August 12th 2019
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance
The Eleutians are dying out, one female at a time. To save their species, the powerful Alchemic Clan conscripts women from parallel worlds, altering them into the perfect breeding stock.
Kitlyn, a retired circus equestrian broken in both body and spirit, awakens on a strange world in her own much-younger body. She has been transformed into a Made One, but the gift of youth and the promise of a new life come at a terrible price.
Rafe, the Wolf Clan’s warrior champion, vows to find the cause of the species’ decline. He’s certain the Alchemics’ bid to save the Eleutians is but a thin veneer masking a dark purpose.
That vow becomes hard to keep with the threat of an inter-clan conflict and the arrival of the proud Made One named Kitlyn.
To save herself and those like her, Kit must carve a dangerous path in this new reality and make a choice that may cost her her freedom, her life, and the life of the Eleutian warrior she’s come to love.

Excerpt 

Kit paused to catch her breath near top of Acadia’s St. Sauveur Mountain. Sybi and Bree’s heads were bowed as they scrambled up the mountain after her. “Hurry up, lazybones! I’m the gimpy one here. We might be dying, but we’re not dead yet!”
Bree and Sybi laughed. She joined them, drinking in their joy like a fine cabernet. Their happiness made her feel free, and she released the clip binding her silver-streaked auburn hair, letting the breeze play with her curls.
Her nose wrinkled at the scent of ozone, her ears catching murmurs whispered through the trees. Stepping forward, an odd pressure rippled through her. What the hell? She turned, and her ankle gave, the pain searing. Kit clutched her staff, stopping her fall. If she didn’t pay attention, she’d land on her ass and with her luck, break her other leg. That damned weak leg had been acting up again, curbing her martial arts practice, one of the few things stitching her sanity together.
Kitlyn marched up a rise, around a bend, and froze. Impossible. Before her yawned a jagged crevasse where far below a river raged. 
Sybi and Bree stepped beside her.
“Holy shit!” Bree said. “Where’d that come from?”
Sybi crossed her arms. “This can’t be real.”
“No?” Kit scooped up a stone and dropped it down the fissure, watching it disappear into the abyss.  
Which was when the granite bank they stood upon vanished.
Kit clamped her jaw, refusing to scream as she tumbled toward the raging river hundreds of feet below.
***
Enveloped by calm waters, Kit sputtered to consciousness, kicked, and broke the surface with a gasp. She tread water in a lukewarm pool surrounded by boulders and towering rock walls the color of burnt sand. She scrubbed her face. Dizzy, she swam, hindered by the strange flowing tunic that covered her neck to ankle, shoulder to wrist. 
But… She’d been wearing shorts and a tank top when she’d fallen. 
How am I even alive? 
She scanned the pool.
My sisters!
“Sybi!” she screamed. “Bree!” 
Panic choked her. They’d fallen, too. She saw neither of them, though her eyes scanned the bank. She plunged beneath the surface, the water clear as she searched for Sybi and Bree. Her body shivered, her eyes combing the empty depths. No fish, no plantlife, no sisters.
Hands and feet growing numb, Kit scissor-kicked to the surface where snowflakes drifted down from a gunmetal sky. Her sisters weren’t there. 
Where were they? Dead? Alive? What if they were hurt?
Snow continued to fall. If she didn’t get out of the water, she’d die. 
Using the protruding rocks as handholds, Kit tugged her way to the bank and paused. Gathering her strength, she crawled out of the pool, her efforts earning her bloody knees, and she rolled into a sitting position. Walking along the bank would be useless. She saw no exit, no path or steps. 
Half frozen, she trembled as the snow continued to fall from a leaden sky. With dread, she peered up the cliff face. Could she climb it? Would she make it? Did she have a choice?
Hand over hand she scaled the rock face, made awkward by the drag of the strange tunic. Given the weather, she would be a fool to remove it. Adrenaline gave her the juice to put one hand above the other, one foot after another pushing her upward, finding hand- and foot-holds, scraping shins and breaking nails.
Clawing her way onto the summit, she collapsed, panting with relief, the icy ground cold against her cheek. How she’d climbed with her crippled side, she didn’t know, didn’t care. Once she caught her breath, she lay prone as she scoured the terrain for shelter. All she saw were jumbles of rocks and a dead leafless tree, a skeleton reaching toward the snow-burdened sky.
Not that it mattered. She was done, so exhausted she couldn’t even pull herself beneath the dead tree’s limbs. 
No. I will try.
She stretched out an arm and curled her toes, attempting to push and pull at the same time. An inch. Then two. 
Her shivering worsened, and yet something within her was growing warm, comfortable even.
Kit wished she’d seen her sisters one last time. Her horses and pups and the Maine Coon cat who woke her each morning with his ridiculous tapping. Or perhaps…



Author Bio:
Vicki's fantasy romantic suspense series, The Afterworld Chronicles, launched with Chest of Bone, followed by Chest of Stone and Chest of Time. She is currently pounding the keys on her series' fourth novel, Chest of Fire, and the first in a new series, The Made Ones Sags: Altered.
Her mystery/thrillers include Body Parts, The Dead Stone, The Bone Man, and The Grief Shop, a Daphne du Maurier prize winner. All feature homicide counselor Tally Whyte. All are available as ebooks.
She co-wrote (with Lisa Souza) and photographed the 10 Secrets of the LaidBack Knitters. With her late husband, William G. Tapply, she ran The Writers Studio workshops in creative fiction.
Vicki taught fiction writing and modern media writing at Clark University.
She loves both a well-crafted sentence and unlocking the doors of a student's imagination.
She grew up in professional theater and planned to become an actress, with a bent for song and dance. She didn't. Instead, she's been a professional photographer, a high-school teacher, a hamburger slinger, a scuba-shop manager, and an editor.
She's Blake's and Ben's mom, her favorite role of all.
Her passions include scuba diving and fly fishing and knitting; photography and movies; vinho verde and bourbon (not together!); Maine lobster and chocolate (also not together!); and musical comedy scores, which she sing in the shower, unfortunately not an Equity venue; and a fascination with people in all walks of life. .

GIVEAWAY!


This giveaway is sponsored by the tour host.  Stuck In Books is not responsible for selecting the winner or delivering the prize. 

XBTBanner1

34 comments:

  1. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sounds like an original story in this fantasy!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Altered sounds like a good read. Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for being on the tour! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm looking forward to checking this one out!

    ReplyDelete
  6. The cover is really pretty. The woman seems powerful.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Amazing cover. Terrific bundle. Thanks for the chance.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I like the cover, very colorful.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This looks like such an interesting book. What a great cover!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you for this truly fabulous chance Vicki!!! Love ya!❤

    ReplyDelete
  11. Love those gorgeous charms! The book looks awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  12. The book cover is lovely and I enjoyed the excerpt. Best wishes on the book.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm really excited to read this!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think this a book I can enjoy with my teenager.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Very beautiful book cover! Can't wait to read!

    ReplyDelete
  16. The book sounds amazing and this is such a stunning book cover. Thank you for the giveaway.

    ReplyDelete
  17. sounds like a fun one

    ReplyDelete
  18. always love the suspense Tally finds herself embroiled in

    ReplyDelete
  19. I am such a big fan of Vicki Stiefel. I read everything she writes.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I liked the book excerpt, and I am looking forward to reading this story.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I love the cover, I'm partial to redheads being 1 myself! Thank you for the opportunity!

    ReplyDelete