Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Kings and Queens by Courtney Vail excerpt and trailer

As part of the Kings and Queens tour, the author has provided for your enjoyment, an exerpt of the book.  I will also be reviewing the book.  I can't say enough good things about it.  Please enjoy the trailer and exercpt and then check out my review - I'll be giving away an eBook version with my review.


Seventeen-year-old Majesty Alistair wants police to look further into her father's fatal car wreck, hopes the baseball team she manages can reclaim the state crown, aches for Derek...or, no...maybe Alec...maybe. And she mostly wishes to retract the hateful words she said to her dad right before slamming the door in his face, only to never see him again. 

All her desires get sidelined, though, when she overhears two fellow students planning a church massacre. She doubts cops will follow up on her tip since they're sick of her coming around with notions of possible crimes-in-the-works. And it's not like she cries wolf. Not really. They'd be freaked too, but they're not the ones suffering from bloody dreams that hint at disaster like some crazy, street guy forecasting the Apocalypse. 

So, she does what any habitual winner with zero cred would do...try to I.D. the nutjobs before they act. But, when their agenda turns out to be far bigger than she ever assumed, and even friends start looking suspect, the truth and her actions threaten to haunt her forever, especially since she's left with blood on her hands, the blood of someone she loves.



After three rings, she heard a groggy, “Yeah?”

“Alec. It’s me.”

“Maj! Back from the hospital?”

“Yep. No concussion.”

“That’s great. I would’ve come. I really wanted to. I should’ve come anyway, despite your insistence.”

“No. I didn’t want you to have to suffer too. Total snoozer.”

His voice cracked out, “I’m so, sooo glad you’re okay … and home. I don’t know what I’d ... do without you. Can’t wait to hold you.”

“So don’t.”

A long pause spanned before he said, “What?”

“Don’t wait. Come over. Please.” Her lungs burned and eyes pooled. Even in this, Derek might find her need for comfort silly, and she couldn’t bear to get shot down. Alec was her only hope.

He groaned, “Majesty.”


“Your mom’ll go ballistic.”

“No she won’t. She knows we’re just friends.”


“Please, Alec? I need you. Desperately. More than anything.” Maybe he was pausing because he was considering it. She hoped.

“Kay, baby. Gimme fifteen or so.”

Majesty covered the phone and sobbed at his sweetness. When she regained composure, she said, “Thanks. You’re the best, best friend a girl could have. I love you, Alec.” She wiped her eyes.

“Yeah, yeah,” he garbled. “Bye.”

She hung up and put on her cozy Red Sox pajamas, then brushed her damp hair and shook it. The grandfather clock chimed its quarter-hour melody when she went down to wait. As car lights shone in the driveway, she nearly jumped for joy. She didn’t know if she’d ever see him again. Letting him in, she whispered, “I’m thrilled you’re here. Come on.”

“Majesty.” He clutched her arm as she took his bag. “Didn’t ya tell your mom about this?”

“No. She and Paul are down in the screw chamber.”

“Mine understood. I’m sure yours will.”

“Never mind. Let’s go.”

He sucked in a sharp breath through his teeth.

“Where’s your sense of adventure, Alec? You’re the daring one.”

He grazed the marks on her face. “Maj,” he whispered, pulling her into his arms. She dropped his bag and squeezed him. “I was so terrified. Warren brought you home? How? What happened? Everything’s confusing and—”

“Look. I can’t talk. I got banged around a little, tied up, but I’m home now. That’s all that matters.” Though his hold felt wonderful, with him all warm and smelling like masculine soap, if she remained in it, she’d crumble. Pulling back, even in the dimness, she could tell his eyes went greenish with fury. “I’m exhausted. I’ll tell ya more tomorrow, okay?”

He took her hand as she led him up to her room. “Hmm. Light springy green now?” By his lip biting and occasional nodding, she could tell his head was still teeming with a zillion questions and she was glad he ignored them.

“Yep. I needed a jolt. Yellow walls made me feel smothered in butter.” She released his hand to place his bag on the accent chair, then faced him. “And wine-painted little-girl crap’ll have to do ’til I can save up for new furniture. I’m gonna DJ or somethin’ at Spanky’s this summer.”

“I like it. It’s very you.” His deep gaze spilled a fusion of emotions, like tightly clenched rose petals, each a different color, texture, scent. She longed to pluck out and examine each one. “So, um, suppose you want me to sleep with you with my arms around you or something like that?” He cleared his throat, inserting his thumbs his back pockets.

“Something like that.” She glided up to him and ran her fingers down his fully accessible chest. “Only, ya gotta take off all your clothes first.”

His gulp and the shock sliding down his face was even funnier than his raspy, “What?” When she busted out in laughter, he said, “Real funny, Maj! I’ll go for half-naked, if you will.” He stripped off his shirt and sneakers.
His upper body was far more developed than last summer. Abs. Arms. Uh. Caught in the shocking blaze of a furious blush, she scratched her neck and dropped her focus to her painted toenails … resembling blood. She cringed, wiggling her toes, and returned to the more pleasant sight of Alec. But she had to fight hard not to trace his curves.

He peeled back her swirly comforter and blankets, sprawled out and turned onto his side. When she looked him in the eye, he patted the twin mattress. “Well? Get over here so I can maul you.”

She smiled and dove into her bed, snuggling up close to him.

He kissed her cheek and caressed her jawline then upper arm with his knuckles. “Maj—” His soft lips came back again, landing like a butterfly.

“Wow. You’re ferocious, Alec.”

“Yeah, honey, you have no idea.”

Her pulse quickened. She quickly flopped away from him onto her side, aching to kiss him and find out, and not just ’cause a pang of desire had surprisingly zapped her. Letting him ravish her might also help suppress her terror. The laugh surely hadn’t helped.

Majesty turned off the light and sank into Alec’s spooning embrace.

Alec nuzzled his nose into her neck and planted a kiss there.

The tickly sensation elicited a shiver. She grabbed his hand, draping his arm around her, lacing her fingers with his. She let out a sough but wanted to scream. Why won’t it stop? Make it stop! This wasn’t as beneficial as she’d hoped. Eyes open or closed, all she could see was bloody chaos.

“You’re so tense. Relax. You’re safe now.”

Tears seeped. Yeah ... but for how long?


COURTNEY VAIL writes totally twisted YA and adult suspense. She enjoys braiding mystery, suspense & romance with some kind of weirdness. Her addictions to crazy coffee concoctions, Funny Bones, Ben & Jerry's, and bacon keep her running and writing. She currently lives in New England with a comedian stud and a wild gang of kidlets

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