Crown. This is a YA Fantasy book that released in January
2014. This is the first book in the The Semei Trilogy. This tour will run March 10th-21st and consist of reviews, author interviews, guest posts, top tens and a giveaway. Stop by the tour page for the full list of tour stops.
She is his weakness.
And she will ruin everything.
Kammy Helseth’s idea of adventure never amounted to more than getting a boat across to the mainland and finally escaping to London. That was until she stumbled through the mouth of the forest into a world beneath our own, the world of the Semei.
Her only wish is to find her way home but when Jamie, her best friend, is taken into this new world of shapeshifters and Crystals she has no choice but to stand up to her fear and to remain beneath the surface. Hunted by Bagor, King of Alashdial, and those that are loyal to him, Kammy finds herself in the company of a group of outlaws led by Jad, a Prince with a bitter past and a similarly bitter demeanour.
They overcome age-old prejudice to find a way to work together. But Bagor knows a secret about the Crystals that threatens to change everything. Kammy and Jad must find a way to thwart the king and to save Jamie, but that is just the beginning. For Kammy is in possession of a Key and the fate of countless lives, both human and Semei, may rest in her hands.
A hand grabbed her and shoved her towards the door. Kammy stumbled through it, dazed. The sudden light lanced her eyes and she threw her arms up to shield her face. She could hear the woman speaking but the words merged together; it was just noise. Only when somebody grabbed her again, did Kammy snap.
‘No,’ she screamed. She twisted free and ran, but strong arms wrapped around her chest and lifted her. She kicked out, struggling with all that she had, unable to see through her tears. She writhed in the guard’s arms, screaming and screaming. ‘I didn’t do anything. I didn’t do anything.’ The guards did not speak. The one holding her shifted her weight, grunting when her knees clattered against his chest. She felt the other grip her ankles. They squeezed her, clamping her limbs into place. Her head was pressed against an armoured chest so that her screams were muffled. She pushed against it but the fight was impossible and in one moment her energy had drained out of her. She sagged and the guards started to march back towards her cell.
Human, they had called her. They had said it with pure loathing as though being human was the worst thing that they could imagine. But they were human too; they had to be. Not that it mattered any more. Kammy’s eyes stared at the joints in the guard’s breastplate. There were etchings there, of wolves howling. Dimly, she was aware that the armour was beautiful and Kammy squeezed her eyes shut knowing that it would be the last beautiful thing she would ever see.
All too soon the guards were lowering her to the floor with surprising gentleness, prying her fingers loose. She crouched where they placed her, staring in mute horror as they walked away. She watched the door clang shut and as that sound reverberated around her she launched back to her feet. She threw herself at the door, kicking and punching it. She tore around the room, trying to dig her nails into the marble. But desperation was not enough. There was no way out and her stomach heaved. She fell to the floor and retched. Then she wrapped her arms around herself and cried.
She was going to die.
Jamie had promised to call. She wondered if he had tried. He would have been worried when she didn’t answer, surely he would have gone to check on her? Was he with her Gran? They would never know what had happened to her.
She could picture her bedroom with its faded orange wallpaper and its scratchy floorboards. She walked through Lumbersdale in her mind, touching houses as she passed, taking gulping breaths of the salty air. It had always felt like a prison to her. She had hated all of Daleswick. She had dreamed of leaving to find excitement and adventure and now she felt like a fool. She thought that she would give anything to be sitting in her kitchen waiting for the kettle to boil. Even Esme would be welcome. Kammy wanted to take back every dark thought she had had. She wanted to go home.
She pressed her hands over her eyes, as if she could hold back her tears but they slipped through until she was empty, drained. She did not want to die. The idea that she was going to was preposterous. She had many fears but dying had never been one of them. She felt a pressure build in her chest like she was trying to break free but there was no way out of the cell.
Eventually she grew quiet and she heard a sound apart from her sobs. Her first thought was that it was already time and she felt every muscle in her body clench in terror but the door did not open. The sound was softer than that. Kammy wiped the tears away from her eyes and sat up, blinking away her dizziness. Her breaths were short. She scanned the walls.
Kammy frowned. There was a trickle of dust pouring out of the wall opposite the door. Kammy was afraid that she was imagining it because she was certain that it had not been there before. The dust flowed faster and Kammy crept towards it. It was coming from a hole the size of a pea but the hole was growing steadily bigger. Mesmerised, Kammy knelt in front of it and brought her eye level.
A pink nose appeared.
Kammy yelped and shoved herself backwards but shock quickly turned into laughter. A mouse wriggled free of the hole and dropped to the floor in front of her. It looked up at her, still but for its twitching whiskers. It was a large mouse with warm red fur.
Kammy smiled at it, ‘Come to keep me company?’
Its nose twitched and it began to glow.
Kammy rubbed her eyes but when she looked again the mouse was growing. Kammy scuttled backwards but her body did not seem to be working as it should. She slipped, slumping to her knees as the mouse twisted and stretched, its body contorting. The mouse disappeared and in its place stood a boy.
About the Author:
I grew up in a village called Swilland, in the countryside of Suffolk,
England. There wasn’t much around, other than farms and fields, but for
the most part I loved it, and I still do. I’m a passionate person by
nature. I don’t just LIKE things, I LOVE things. Whether it’s a book, a
film, or a sports team. Once I decide to enjoy something, I enjoy it to
I’m a terrible cook. I prioritise essential social media work over keeping my flat tidy, because I know best. I
Onto my love of reading and, consequently, writing – it was my dad that
played a big role in encouraging me to read. He didn’t push me towards
books necessarily; he simply read a lot himself. Then I would pick up
his books and read them after him. I was reading high and epic fantasy
from a very young age. I guess that might explain why I have always
loved adventure stories with magic and intrigue and princes and
I was aware that I wanted to ‘be a writer’ from a very young age. I was
convinced I would be the first best seller that hadn’t reached double
figures in age yet! I wrote about the Danshees, furry creatures that
lived through a mirror. I wrote about a Sand Bottle that transported a
boy into a world of magic. I wrote about a sick girl finding a music boy
that healed her, but transported her back in time. (Wow, I always have
loved alternate universes…)
When I was eight I wrote my first novel called The Land of No Return.
Despite the title, I am determined to return to it one day. I feel like I
owe it to my past self. So, as you can see, I have always been writing.
There have been times when I have gone weeks without scratching down a
word. Then there are days where I churn out multiple chapters and only
my body’s silly desire for sleep and/or food can stop me.
I write because I enjoy it. I write fantasy because I enjoy it. I try my
hardest to put something of myself into my writing. I like to think my
characters have depth, I like to think that my fantasy worlds reflect
upon the real world in some way. You guys will be the judge of that but
even if you don’t agree I know that I at least try and I can do no more
These days I live in North London and I love it. I work full time and
London is a hectic city. Juggling work, writing and a social life is
tough but nobody is forcing me to do it so I can’t complain. The dream
is that writing will be my career one day but it doesn’t matter if I
never quite make it. I love writing too much to ever pack it in.
I am desperate to get a dog. My mum suspects I miss my cats at home more
than I miss her. I am a devout Arsenal/Ferrari/Rafael Nadal fan. I get
all mad when confronted with a case of social injustice and then I get
all mad when people take the fight for social justice too far. I mostly
keep those thoughts to myself and simmer with rage. I watch good TV and
bad TV, because I can. What I can’t do is enjoy bad books (subjective
opinion of course). I just can’t.