Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Black City by Elizabeth Richards

I can’t wait to hear what you think of this Cover!!!


Title: Black City
Author: Elizabeth Richards
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Release Date: November 13, 2012
ISBN-10: 0399159436
ISBN-13: 978-0399159435

A dark and tender postapocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war

In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection, that causes Ash’s long dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong. When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.
Are you enticed yet?!?! Well, take a look at this first chapter:
An air raid siren wails in the distance, alerting Black City citizens to lock their doors and turn out the lights. They don’t want to be out in the dark alone. They might meet something dangerous. Something like me.
I head under the canal bridge and wait for the girl, taking a packet of Sentry-regulation smokes from my back pocket and sparking up. The nicotine courses through my veins, making them throb with adrenaline; the sensation is almost like a pulse . . . almost.
Footsteps approach the bridge, and a short girl with straggly black hair appears from the shadows, dressed in men’s work boots, tight black trousers and a tailcoat made from a patchwork of clashing fabrics. Her hazel eyes gaze up into mine. She’s brave. Not many cherry-poppers have the courage to look me in the eyes. She hands me an old playing card with two hearts on it, one red, one black. It’s my calling card. It seemed an appropriate choice; that’s what I’m selling her after all, an illusion of love. I slip it into the pocket of my dark green military jacket.
“You’re late,” I say. “Last thing I need is to be caught out here after curfew by a Tracker. They’re just begging for a reason to throw me in jail.”
“Sorry, they’ve put up extra checkpoints, stopping everyone. There’s tanks everywhere!” she babbles. “I guess they can’t be too careful with the Sentry Emissary back in the city, what with the boundary negotiations with the Legion and—”
“You paid Beetle?” I interrupt.
The girl nods.
“Terms and conditions,” I say. “No refunds. You don’t enjoy it, you puke, you freak—not my problem, okay?”
She nods again.
“You pregnant?” She blushes furiously. “I’ll take that as a no. It may cause drowsiness, so don’t drive or operate any heavy machinery.” She smiles at this, and I grin. They always like that. “And no repeats for at least two weeks, all right? I mean it.”
“That all?”
“No kissing. Strictly business, okay?”
She seems a little disappointed by this, but I don’t like to mix business with pleasure. She shyly unbuttons the collar of her coat, revealing her slim, pale neck. Hunger grips my stomach at the sight.
“What do I do?” she asks.
“Lean back,” I say.
She obeys like a good girl. I place a hand against the wall and slip my other hand between her thighs, gently easing her legs apart. Touching her doesn’t turn me on, but I groan like it does, knowing she’ll enjoy that. They all do, even the guys—it’s why they come to me instead of the Haze dens. I slide my body between her thighs so we’re face-to-face. Her shallow breaths are warm against my cool skin.
“Relax, okay? It’s more enjoyable if you relax.”
“My heart’s pounding a mile a minute.” She gives a nervous laugh.
“Can’t say I know how that feels,” I admit.
She tentatively presses a hand against my chest, and her eyes widen. “So it’s true, then? You don’t have a heart?”
“I have a heart,” I growl, shoving her hard against the wall. It just doesn’t beat.
A small tear snakes down her cheek, her thin lips trembling.
“Sshhh, it’s okay, sweetheart. I didn’t mean to frighten you.” I gently wipe her tear away. “Forgive me?”
She nods, then tilts her head to one side, exposing the smooth whiteness of her neck. The poison sacs behind my fangs swell with venom.
Focus, Ash. Don’t blow your load.
I lean toward her, pressing my lips against the soft flesh on her neck, just below her ear. Her pulse flutters under my lips, and I nearly lose it. I begin to nibble on the flesh, tickling the tiny hairs on her neck with my tongue, making them wet with my saliva.
“Do it,” she whispers.
So much for foreplay. I sink my fangs into her jugular. Hot blood spills over my tongue, making my taste buds burst with its sticky sweetness. Man, I love the newbies; they always taste the best. She sighs as my venom enters her bloodstream. I wait for the Haze to take effect before I start to drink from her. That’s the bonus of Haze; my clients get high from me, and I get high from them by drinking their drugged blood. It’s win-win.
A sour, bitter flavor suddenly floods my mouth, and I gag, leaping back.
“What the—” I spit up blood.
The girl stares at me with glazed eyes, blood trickling down the two puncture wounds in her neck.
“Everything’s sparkling,” she says dreamily.
“Didn’t Beetle tell you I don’t take clients on meds?”
She lurches toward me, and I grab her before she falls into the water.
“I love you,” she slurs, trying to kiss me.
I shove her, hard. She falls back against the wall and slides to the floor. Her eyes roll back into her head, and she begins to spasm, white foam bubbling out the corners of her mouth.
“No, no, no! Wake up.” I kneel down and shake her, panic rushing through me.
The girl jerks, her boots leaving black scuff marks on the cobblestones. Fragg! This is why I don’t take clients on meds. You can never tell how they’re going to react to the Haze. I shrug off my jacket and place it under her head.
A Sentry tank rolls over the bridge, and I shut my eyes and wait for it to pass. Even though the war is officially over, I still get chills at that sound. Wherever they went, Death followed. I had a few close scrapes during the war. During those days, the fact that I was a legal citizen and half human didn’t mean much to them. If you weren’t 100 percent human, you were the enemy. Every day was a fight for survival. Not much has improved since then; I’m still the enemy in most people’s eyes. All they can see is the Darkling in me. The tank turns down Bleak Street toward the Sentry Emissary’s headquarters.
The girl groans. It’s too dangerous here; I have to go. I could just leave her . . . No, that’s not an option, but I can’t take her to the hospital. I’d get in so much trouble.
I peer down the canal. A yellow barge is moored about one hundred feet away. The lights are off. Where is he? He’s meant to be my wingman; that’s why I came to the bridge in the first place. Can this get any wor—
An explosion of pain bursts inside my chest, and I clutch a hand over my lifeless heart. I sense someone behind me and turn.
A girl stands by the entranceway, lit by the headlamps of a passing truck. In the fleeting light, I catch a glimpse of cornflower-blue eyes flicking between me and the Hazer writhing on the ground.
Her gaze finally fixes on me.
I fall back, struck down, as the pain in my chest blooms again.
Shivers run through my body, rushing toward a single point in my chest. There’s a spark of electricity and then:
A flutter.
Um…yeah, I want to read this!!! How about you?
Elizabeth  Richards
Elizabeth Richards lives in Buckinghamshire, England and can be found online at Elizabeth’s website

Elizabeth Richards is an award-winning journalist and debut author, who spent her early career writing for videogame publications such as CUBE, P2 and GamesTM,and now works as a website editor. Previously, she ran a successful lifestyle website aimed at teenage girls. She won the Jane Hayward Young Journalist of the Year award for her feature on girls in the games industry, and was named 'Editor's Choice' in the industry trade magazine, MCV.
The Giveaway
Thanks to the awesome people at Penguin Books for Young Readers one commenter will get a Black City  ARC sent right to their house.  

ARC winners will also get a chance to win one of 5 exclusive and personalized drawings of the main characters—Ash and Natalie—drawn and autographed by the author.
Take a look at Elizabeth Richards artwork:
Each one will be just a bit different, so each winner will receive an original and unique image.
All the Legal Stuff
  • Up for grabs one ARC of Black City.
  • This giveaway is open internationally!
  • Giveaway will run from 2/29/2012 through 3/9/2012
  • To enter simply let me know what you think below. Make sure you leave a way for me to get in touch with you so that I will be able to get your address if you win!
  • If by 3/12/2012 the winner has not contacted me after being emailed a new winner will be chosen.
  • You can earn an extra entry by tweeting the giveaway and leaving the link in your comments.
Good Luck,


  1. I'm thinking....why haven't I heard of this book? I CAN'T wait til November. OH MAN...there's no way lol. It sounds awesome.
    The brilliant cover is really just the cherry on top. The blurb is what drew me in right away. I could KISS you for making the giveaway international.
    Count me IN!
    Sasse (_yay_)
    I tweeted:!/_yay_/status/174837134681849856
    My blog

  2. Thanks for the chance to win! Looking forward to this one, a lot of buzz has been generated for it.


  3. Thank you so much for the giveaway! I haven't heard of this before today, but I already want to read this so, so badly! *Crosses fingers*

    I adore this cover. I like the way it's a flower, but it's shattering, which makes it so unique! Plus, I love the addition of a city, which adds the dystopian flare!

    You can contact me: abackwardsstory(at)gmail(dot)com

  4. Awesome cover! It comes out around my birthday, YAY! :)

  5. Beautiful cover, wonderfull description and a first chapter that makes me NEED that book :)

    Thildeespensen@live dot dk

  6. I love the cover, especially the fluttering petals! :)


  7. I'm thinking what a love story it will be to have it happen during such a scary time in the world. The cover also is powerful and jumps out at me.


  8. This books looks positively awesome!!
    The cover is brilliant, it really talks to the readers! And that first chapter just leaves just begging for more!

    My email is

  9. The story is very beautiful and the cover amazing! Thank you for the giveaway.

    artgiote at gmail dot com

  10. Wow, that excerpt sounds great. I told myself not to read it all, but did peek at a several sentences! Thanks for the post & giveaway. :)

    Kristi S.

  11. I'm so excited to read this book! Love the cover :)


  12. I'm so excited to read this book! Love the cover :)


  13. I just added this book to goodreads! It sounds so good, and the cover is gorgeous! Thanks for the giveaway!

    unabridgedbookshelf at gmail dot com

  14. The cover is beautiful! Added this to my TBR list! <3


    -Len of Musings of a Reader Happy

  15. This sounds like it will be excellent. Gorgeous cover! Thanks for the chance!

  16. Absolutely brilliant cover! Thanks again :)

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  17. I loved the excerpt! Has me thinking of what happened at the end. The cover is georgous - very different.


  18. this book sounds really amazing! love the cover tho it reminds me of the flower in the twilight book?


    fallendream03 AT gmail DOT com

  19. I think this book sounds great and the cover is amazing!
    lilcrickit at gmail dot com

  20. WOW that sounds amazing :) !! I actually hadn't heard of this one until now so thank you very much .. Ash seems like a wonderful dark and complex character !! I'm definitely adding this one to my wishlist ;)
    I'm so glad this one is open internationally !!!! Thank you so much :) !!
    Here's my email address :
    I tweeted about the giveaway :!/Elostarbucks/status/175217821205278720
    Thanks again, have an awesome day :)

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. i am in love with the gorgeous cover and i cannot wait to read the whole book!! thanks for the giveaway : )
    ame1184 at gmail dot com

  23. WOW. The preview definitely has me interested.

  24. It's a really eye catching cover! :D

    mideclipse (at)

  25. OMG! Is one of the most beautiful covers I've ever seen! And with that chapter, I just can't belive we have to wait until November to know more! I can't wait!

    Contac me:

    And I Tweeted about the Giveaway -->!/entreLibrosMG/status/175387360790454274

  26. I am entirely enticed and don't know what I'll do if I can't get my hands on this book after it comes out! The first chapter read extremely well and I can't wait to read more! The cover is very amazing, too! I love the shatter effect with the flower (though I am entirely against the abuse of pretty flowers).
    Contact me at: meimpink at gmail dot com
    Also check out my blog:

  27. I totally love the cover, and the excerpt really sucked me in! Definitely looking forward to this book!

  28. BLACK CITY does look very interesting & I'm loving the cover.


  29. The cover is stunning, the summary is intriguing and the excerpt makes me want more! Now! :) Thanks for the chance to win an ARC!


  30. I'm thinking that cover is awesome and cover whores like ones so pretty and eye catching. I also think that art work is amazing I can't even draw good stick figures.


  31. I love the way she writes, and the cover is pretty.

    email is :!/xteeluong/status/175542068368777216

  32. I love the cover and I liked the first chapter. I would love to get a chance to read the book! Thanks for the great giveaway and for making it international.

  33. wow, the cover is really amazing! It's genius! The first chapter is really cool and it's got me really wanting the book! c:

  34. The cover is powerful and beautiful. I know you are never suppose to judge a book by its cover but lets face it, that simply is to hard to do! On my to read list and even better that it is a post apocalyptic read to boot! I can be found over at or by email at

  35. the cover is beautiful, but I woudn't think it was YA till I read the synopsis.


  36. Cover is amazing, after reading the first chapter can't wait to read the rest! left me wanting more.

  37. Ahhh gosh I love that excerpt so hard! I want to meet Ash ASAP!! Thank you for the chance :)

    Shortie Says

  38. The teaser was marvelous! This is one of my most anticipated debuts of 2012, hands down. Thank you so much for the giveaway!

    Lilly @ The YA Café

  39. Thank you for the give away and the first chapter.

  40. The cover is just gorgeous, and the first chapter just made me anxious to read the book.
    thanks for the chance to win.
    My email:

  41. I love this cover so much!! It's so pretty! I've read the first chapter so many times, and it just always sounds amazing!!


  42. Thank you for this giveaway!
    I'm really excited for this book. The first chapter just makes me wanna read more!


  43. I am in awe of the cover, it's so simple yet beautiful at the same time. And I found it refreshing that it doesn't show models for a change. :)

    Thank you for the giveaway!
    My email: picyadri at gmail dot com

  44. This book sounds good. Why haven't I heard of it before? Thanks for the giveaway!


  45. Wow! This book sounds awesome and I absolutely love the cover! Thank you for bringing this book to my attention! and for hosting the giveaway :)
    My email:

  46. The cover is beautiful, for me the shattered rose represents how everything they knew about life was lost, the beauty of the time, and all the wonderfulness of love! I would loveee to win! Thanks for the giveaway!


    1. Tweeted:!/Gisselle_Alv/status/176447632510681089

  47. I like the cover, and now I really want the book after reading the excerpt!

    EMAIL : foreverlostinbooks(at)gmail(dot)com

  48. I love the exploding flower on the cover! It makes me think of beauty and pain and of course the excerpt was amazing! I was so sad when I read the last line and now have to wait!


    Thank you so much for this giveaway!



    THAT CHAPTER. *faints*

    I need to read it! :O

    Email: megan(dot)theauthor(at)

    Thank you so much for having this giveaway!


  50. This book sounds amazing, I can't wait to read it! Thanks so much for the giveaway!
    And the cover is wonderful, I love it, very original!


  51. This books sounds amazing. The cover alone would grab my attention, but the blurb and excerpt are just the icing on the cake! I must read it!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    Ron @ Stories of my life

    roncn DOT contact AT gmail DOT com

  52. This book. Omg. I want it. I NEEEED it. It's SO pretty! And the first chapter! I can't take it. Hahah. This book is too far from release.!/Malyjah/status/176829677925695488


  53. Totally in love with this cover. Definitely anticipating this one when it comes out. I am super excited. Thanks for the giveaway!


  54. Thanks for the giveaway!

  55. This is a great cover. I love the splash of color, of course, but my favorite part is the dark city tucked away at the bottom. Your eye isn't drawn to it right away, but you eventually notice it. I love that.

    Thanks Rebecca! ;)


  56. This is an AMAZING Cover I can't wait to read it, it's seriously amazing.

  57. this book sounds amazing! would love a copy!!! thanks for hosting sucha great giveaway!!! I love the cover...although i try not to judge books by their cover, this is a cover that would make me pick up the book to read the blurb!

  58. This looks AMZING!!! Thanks for making it international! This plot Seems so unique and just plain WOW I mean how awesome was that first bit we got to read, I really want to snuggle down and read it now!!!


  59. This looks killer! Cannot wait to read it. And thanks for the chance! ! Love the cover too. Kimberlybuggie at yahoo dot com