Book Spotlight: Traitors’ Gate (Battle of the Undead Prequel) by Nicky Peacock

traitorsgate1sWant to know how the Battle of the Undead started? Well, download you FREE copy of Traitors’ Gate today. A historical urban fantasy that stars some familiar faces from Bad Blood and Bad Timing, and some not so familiar ones.

Download here…

Battle of the Undead: prequel

Only time will tell who the traitors really are…

Sixteen-year-old Lucinda is getting the home-coming from hell. England is in the grip of the War of the Roses and her tyrant father has promised her hand to a vile man three times her age. In need of aid, she seeks sanctuary with an old childhood friend only to find him accused of treachery and harboring a supernatural secret. All too soon Lucinda is caught in a fight that’s not her own but, to be with the man she loves, she’ll gladly take up arms.

When you stand at Traitors’ Gate, keep the vampires close, and the zombies as far away as possible!

14+ due to violence and adult situations

Excerpt:

I rush into the dining room like the wind on a stormy night, gaining a withering look from Mistress. Black who is seated at the table along with my father and a strange man.

“And this is Lucinda,” my father says pointing at me. The man next to him gets up and smiles at me. He bows slightly and takes my hand in a sweaty grip. He drags his moist lips over my palm in what I assume is a romantic gesture. I look over at father, who doesn’t seem to care.

“This is Lord Appleby. He has a large estate in Dorset.”

“Dorset? My, that’s quite some way away.” I try to smile at him, but fail miserably.

“Yes, you’ll love it there.” Lord Appleby sits back down to the right of my father and Ms. Black physically moves me to the seat across from him.

Lord Appleby is painfully thin with almost black eyes and a complexion liked a cooked frog. I imagine him putting his arms around me, and I shiver; it would be like being enclosed by a sallow fleshy girdle. The dinner slowly marches through seven courses, every one of my favorites from Mistress. Leighton’s repertoire, but each plate is tainted by the obvious conclusion to my homecoming: my father has sold me and didn’t even have the decency to tell me beforehand. I’m to become Lady Lucinda Appleby, the sixteen year old wife to a forty year old man who eats with his mouth open and, as he’d gotten drunker through the evening, and has become more and more leery, regardless of Mistress Black or my father’s presence.

The moment I finish chewing the last piece of the cheese and bread I stand up.

“I’m tired from my journey, so I will bid you goodnight, father, Lord Appleby, Ms. Black.” I nod to each of them and turn to leave.

“Wait,” my father says, “Lord Appleby would like a turn around the garden with you.”

I glance toward the window. It must be at least ten o’clock and is pitch black outside.

“Now?” I ask.

My father narrows his eyes at me.

“Oh please, yes. I so love a garden at night.” Lord Appleby jumps to his feet and moves to my side. He’s protecting me. Have I misjudged him? I take his arm and we head into the garden.

Outside, the chill of the night air pinches at my bare arms. I look at Lord Appleby in his lovely warm cloak, but he makes no move to offer it to me in any kind of gentlemanly gesture.

“And these are the white roses,” I say. “My father planted them for my mother.” I linger at the small patch of buds that I remembered as being much bigger, fuller, and more fragrant.

“Ah yes, we are all white roses here,” he says with an exaggerated wink. He’s referring to the House of York. A war has been raging for quite some time between the white rose of York and the red rose of Lancaster, each backing a different king for the throne of England.

We make strained small talk for a while longer as we walk farther away from the lights of the house. Suddenly he stops and grabs my elbow, spinning me round so my body is flush against his.

“I do hope you are amenable to this arrangement, Lucinda,” he says.

I try to pull back, but he’s stronger than he looks and holds me firm. “Please let me go.”

I look up into his eyes and see a slight madness there, a malevolence that I hadn’t noticed before.

“Let me go!” I say again.

“Just a kiss,” he whispers and lowers his lips to mine.

I pull my head back so that he lands his kiss on my chest. I’m unsure as to whether that is worse than his mouth on mine. His grip on me tightens and he begins to slobber rough kisses over my collarbone, while his hand frantically pulls up my petticoats ripping into them as he does. I scream, but no one comes. I struggle and pull back as far as I can from him, falling halfway out his grasp. A wild look crosses his face and he raises up a hand and slaps my cheek. The blow makes me stagger backward, out of his clutches. He stares at me for a moment. I kick him in the crotch. He doubles over with a strained groan. I run.

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Traitors’ Gate book tour dates

The prequel to my Battle of the Undead series will be out soon – my publishers, Evernight Teen have arranged a virtual book tour to celebrate the release.

EvernightTeen - Traitors Gate Nicky Peacock

Tour dates:

2/29 Young Adult & Teen Reads
2/29 Darkest Cravings
3/1 Get Cozy
3/2 The Book Pub
3/3 Seeing Stars
3/4 Fantasy Pages
3/5 All Book Finds
3/6 Nics Book Nook
3/7 Nikki Noffsinger 

Interview with…Nicky Peacock

use1So, why do a self-interview?

Well, Nicky at the risk of appearing schizophrenic I thought perhaps I could use this opportunity to ask myself the questions that don’t tend to get asked in other interviews. And of course, be incredibly honest with my answers. You can’t lie to yourself, well you can, but it’s not healthy!

What advice would you give a new writer?

Honestly, only go into writing if you are passionate about it. I love writing, always have, but if you don’t have the time and energy to properly dedicate to it, it’s best to find another hobby/ career. People who are outside the publishing industry tend to not know the efforts that have to go in to getting published, sure they’ve probably read big time author stories romanced up to the point where it’s three steps away from reality, but they’ve not experienced it themselves. To be fair, until they do, they won’t understand. There are lots of friends and even family in my life that only see the end product of the book in their hand, they don’t see the nights I stayed up editing, the lunch times I worked on my blog, and all the spare hours I could get my hands on to actually write. Only other authors truly appreciate these efforts. So, finding other writers to talk to is paramount to keep your sanity!

What question do you dread in interviews?

How did you come up with the idea for your novel? I hate seeing this question as the answer is always awful sounding. There are so many ideas, characters and plots that go into writing a novel and they all spring from somewhere – some can be very personal. I always try to be honest in interviews, so I find it really hard to spin my answer in such a way that I don’t sound psychotic or condescending!

Your new book Bad Timing continues the Battle of the Undead series with Evernight bad-timingTeen. Was writing a second book harder?

Oddly, no. I have an overall plot for the series in my mind, so it kind of felt cathartic to get the story on paper. I love the character of Britannia and I feel a certain sense of duty to get her to her ending, whether it’s happy or not. The one thing I am worried about with it though, is that you have to read the books in order for them to make sense. I’d hate for a reader to start with Bad Timing as they’d have no idea what is going on!

How do you feel about promoting your own books?

I’ve worked in sales and marketing now for 16 years, so I really enjoy it. As the author, I’m passionate about my work so getting it out to the widest audience possible is as much my responsibility as my publishers. Some days I can’t write a coherent sentence to save my life, so it’s nice to have another job to get on with which is just as productive. I also really appreciate it when readers and bloggers help me to get the word out – makes me feel like I’ve done something right.

Tell us something about yourself that you wouldn’t normally reveal…

I’m highly competitive but incredibly lazy. This makes for an interesting combination. My inner self is pretty much always at war. A big part of me wants nothing more than to turn on Netflix and binge watch with a tub of mint choc chip ice cream. The other part of me wants to win, to push myself to my limits and get to the top with hard work and dedication. The latter tends to win more battles, but it’s an ongoing war!

What do you feel passionately about?

Helping other writers find their way. I have a writers’ group that’s really busy and I’m volunteering to do creative writing workshops for local schools and libraries. Writing can really help to focus you, exorcise demons and if all goes well give you an extra income. I’m currently striving to provide the support for wannabe authors that I didn’t get when I was younger. I also really enjoy inspiring other writers. I have quite a busy mind, so playing muse to others is a great way for me to focus too. If I could get a job as a muse, I’d be there like a shot!

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What was the best story you ever wrote?

I love all my stories, I wouldn’t put them out into the world if I didn’t. But there are three short stories that I put my whole heart into. For Audrey appears in the So Long and Thanks for all the Brains anthology – this story is about a zombie dog protecting his child owner in a zombie uprising. It never fails to make me cry! Bad Baby appears in the Bleeding Ink anthology. It was an idea based in science but marinated in emotion. The Red Fingers appears in Grotesquerie anthology, is probably the most ‘out of the box’ story I’ve written, it’s all from the point of view of a musical talent. The Battle of the Undead series published through Evernight Teen is my first sole author books, so these will always have a special place in my heart.

How do you deal with bad days?

Everyone has them, I try to remember this, but I have developed a trick that makes me feel so much better…the montage. Montages are mostly found in scripts but sometimes in prose; it’s where a character skips through a portion of their lives in short scenes; this leads them to their destiny, usually with uplifting music – think Rocky training to Eye of the Tiger. After a bad day, I sit down, close my eyes and imagine my day as a montage of events (usually to the song Nine to Five by Dolly Parton) Once finished I feel better, that I the protagonist of my own story is heading toward my destiny, one country song montage at a time!

What are you working on at the moment?

Well, it’s the last installment of Battle of the Undead, Bad Karma and also the 2nd installment of my new series, The Twisted and the Brave. I also have another story eating away at my brain, like a toothy worm – but I’ll update you all on this one when I know more.

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Cover Reveal – Traitors’ Gate – Battle of the Undead – Prequel

Due out very soon through Evernight Teen, the prequel to Bad Blood and Bad Timing – Traitors’ Gate. A historical urban fantasy that takes you back to where it all began…

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