Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Witch Born Blog Tour with Chapter Two Excerpt & Giveaway by Amber Argyle


Today, I'm pretty lucky to be part of the five chapter sneek preview for Witch Born that Amber Argyle organized and put together. You guys, this series is so amazingly original and edgey. Witch Song was one of my favorite ARC's that I was lucky enough to get to read and review last year. I have no doubts that Witch Born is going to be just as amazing.

And today, for you lucky reader's, I have a super awesome sneek peek at Chapter Two of Witch Born for you! How awesome is that?!

But, first I'll share with you a little insight into the series.

There is so much to love about this series as Amber brilliantly blends dark mythology, witchcraft, romance, and magic into an enticing adventure that is sure to wow and captivate any fan of paranormal fantasy. It really is a strinkingly beautiful original story, with stunning imagery and sweeping emotion.

In WITCH SONG, the world is changing. Once, Witch Song controlled everything from the winds to the shifting of the seasons-but not anymore. All the Witches are gone, taken captive by a traitor. All but Brusenna. As the echo of their songs fade, the traitor grows stronger. Now she is coming for Brusenna. Her guardian has sworn to protect her, but even he can't stop the Dark Witch. Somehow, Brusenna has to succeed where every other Witch has failed. Find the traitor. Fight her. Defeat her. Because if Brusenna doesn't, there won't be anything left to save.

Brusenna thought it was finished in WITCH BORN. She defeated the Dark Witch, saving the Haven Witches from imprisonment and death. She found love and a place to belong.

She was wrong.

Haven is not the sanctuary it appears to be. Even love is in danger of slipping away like water through cupped hands.

Some things can't be saved.

A new threat merges with the old as the Witches’ dark history begins to catch up with them. Only Brusenna knows the extent of the danger and how to stop it, though doing so might cost her everything.

Including her life.

Will Brusenna be required to make the ultimate sacrifice?

Witch Song
by Amber Argyle

Chapter Two

The attacker’s threat made Senna’s heart thump painfully in her chest. Who was this man? How had he known her name? She stepped closer and squinted at his face, trying to make out something besides his dark outline.

Somewhere out of sight, the plants rustled as if someone was running through them. The tenor!

Senna turned and fled, not daring to look back. Three times she fell, once so hard she feared she’d broken her wrist. She yanked on the gag, her lips cracking, before finally managing to pull it off.

Ahead, the warm lights of Haven came into view. She caught glimpses of lanterns gleaming inside the trees like distant stars. Had she really gone so far?

When she finally reached her tree house on the outskirts of the inhabited quarter, her breathing came in ragged gasps. She ran inside the tree, up the spiraling central staircase, and wrenched open her mother’s bedroom door.

Her mother sat up. “Brusenna?” Her voice was heavy with sleep.

“We’re not safe!” Senna snatched her mother’s hand and dragged her outside and deeper into Haven.

“What happened? Why are you covered in blood? What happened to your face?”

Senna ignored her. She had to warn the others. Were there more attackers? Was anyone safe? She didn’t stop until she reached the Ring of Power—a circular clearing ringed by tall, ancient trees. She darted to the center. Tipping back her head, she sang.

Wind, carry my song through all of Haven.
An enemy with purpose craven
Has breached our everlasting border,
Wreaking havoc and disorder.

The wind whipped around her song, carrying its message all over the island. It reverberated off the impassable cliffs. Within moments, Witches were pouring into the Ring of Power, most wearing little more than their shifts.

Prenny, her short gray hair sticking up like the scruff of an aggravated dog, marched straight up to Senna. “What’s the meaning of this, Sprout?”

Senna held up her hand to shield her eyes from the lantern Prenny held. The older woman seized her by the wrist.

Her mother gasped and turned Senna’s palm toward the lantern light spilling through the clearing.

Exhaustion crashed down on Senna as the two studied her hand. “It’s not my blood.”

“Some of it is,” her mother said.

Her mouth forming a small “O” of surprise, Senna stared at the cuts in her palm, her blood mixing with that of her attacker to run in garish streaks down her sleeves. The glass must have sliced her when she’d stabbed the deep-voiced man. She hadn’t even felt it, but now she did. It stung, more by the moment.

Her mother lifted her skirt. “I’ll get my kit.”

Prenny clicked her tongue as she examined the wounds. “It’ll keep for now, Sacra.” The older woman smelled of herbs and dirt, but it was not unpleasant.

When her mother didn’t pause, Senna reached for her with her good hand. “No! They’re still out there!”

“Who’s out there?” Coyel, Head of Sunlight, asked as she arrived with Drenelle half a step behind.

Senna winced. “Two men attacked me.”

“What?” her mother cried.

More Witches gathered around Senna. All of them gaped at her, fear in their eyes. Senna felt their stares like a mantle of lead and wanted to disappear.

Coyel clapped her hands. “To the middle of the Ring, all of you.”

Drenelle grabbed Senna’s arm and dragged her away from listening ears. “By the Creators, why would two men attack a sixteen-year-old girl?”

“That’s impossible,” Prenny growled. “There are no men on the island. And no one can get inside without our permission.”

Senna’s mother met the old woman’s gaze. “Like they didn’t get on the island before?”

Prenny stepped back as if she’d been slapped. “The traitor is dead. All the other Witches are accounted for.”

Senna shook her head. “I heard them. They’re part of a plan to attack Haven. And they’re working with a Witch here.”

Prenny opened her mouth, but no words came out.

Coyel held herself very still. “You’re sure?”

Senna met the woman’s blue eyes. “They were guaranteed egress from the island for themselves and a captive.”

The three Heads exchanged glances. Senna could see they didn’t want to believe her. But the blood on her hands and the bruise swelling on the back of her skull were proof.

Chavis marched toward them. The Witch was Head of Water and therefore their leader in battle. She was dressed in men’s clothes. Strapped across her chest was a crisscross harness for her pistols, with a water-emblem coin where the leather straps met. Her long gray hair hung in a braid down the center of her back. “How many? Where?”

Senna pointed a shaking finger back the way she’d come. “Two of them. On the west side of the island.”

Chavis whirled around. “Witchlings and Apprentices in the circle. Arianis is in charge.”

“But if there’s a traitor in our midst—” Drenelle started.

Chavis turned toward her. “Have you a better idea?”

Drenelle slowly shook her head.

Chavis went on, her tone commanding, “Keepers assume battle formation—one Witch from each of the Four Disciplines, with a Water in charge. Search the island. Senna with me.”

“I’m coming with my daughter,” her mother declared.

Chavis tightened her lips but nodded. “Fine.”

Drenelle blanched. “Shouldn’t we wait till morning?”

Chavis didn’t bother responding.

Arianis glanced at the Witchlings and Apprentices before jogging forward. “Head Coyel, I can help search the island.”

Coyel answered without looking at her. “You’re still an Apprentice.”

Arianis glowered at Senna. “So is she.”

Senna had to stop herself from rolling her eyes. This really wasn’t the time for Arianis’ petty jealousies.

Chavis shouldered past Arianis. “Yes, but she knows where she was attacked and you do not. Now move!”

Arianis clenched her jaw and started shouting for the Apprentices and Witchlings to form up. The Apprentices locked forearms and started singing.

The area around them surged with a blast of wind. Shimmering like an aurora, a cylindrical barrier rose into the night sky. Nothing and no one could cross until the Witches released each other.

As long as the circle held, the young Witches would be safe. Unless the traitor…Senna pushed the worry away.

Chavis handed a musket to Prenny and one of the pistols to Coyel. The three women loaded the gunpowder, wad, and ball before tapping the powder into the frizzen.

Senna had just stabbed a man. Watching them load the guns made her stomach hurt. “We have our songs,” she said.

“Sometimes a musket works better than Witch song,” Chavis said.

Drenelle grabbed her lantern off the ground. “This is a bad idea. We should stay where it’s safe.”

“Douse the lantern. It will only make us targets and blind us to the night.” Chavis started forward without another word.

Drenelle pursed her lips before blowing out the light, but she didn’t put the lantern down.

Senna stared at the pistol in Coyel’s hands, her whole body loath to go back into the darkness. She listened for the music again, somehow doubting she’d ever heard it in the first place. Hollow silence echoed back to her.

When Senna made no move to follow them, Chavis turned. “Senna, you may need to show us where to go.”

The memory of being shot burned through her, and her long- since-healed arm ached anew. She could taste the gunpowder on her tongue from the night her dog, Bruke, had died saving her. She couldn’t seem to move.

Gently, her mother took her arm. “Chavis won’t shoot anyone unless she has to.”

Going back into danger went against Senna’s every instinct. Fear seemed to lift her stomach into her throat. Steeling herself, she left the lantern-lit clearing behind.

Her mother pressed herself against Senna’s side, and Senna had to admit she was grateful for her presence.

Passing other groups of searching Witches, the five Keepers hustled as fast as they dared, their hands outstretched to feel their way forward, towards the only way in or out of Haven—the underwater cave. If Senna’s attackers wanted to flee, it was the only place to go.

Etched in the side of one of the cliffs was a stone archway. Briars and thistle guarded the entrance and grew thick over the cave’s name: Velveten.

“No one’s been here,” Coyel said, her voice heavy with relief.

“Unless a Witch sang them inside.” Chavis checked the powder in her pan and half cocked her gun. “Drenelle, light your lamp.”

Senna heard the scrape of a rare match. A flame burst to life, burning afterimages into her vision—the sight of Drenelle in a chemise that practically vomited lace. The air was filled with the smell of burning sulfur. Drenelle lit the wick and twisted up the lever on her small, ridiculously ornate lamp.

As light flooded the area, Senna sighed in relief. For the first time since leaving the clearing, she could make out the other Witches’ faces instead of amorphous shapes.

Coyel sang away the briars and thistle that hid the elaborate entrance. It was a place that could only be created by Witch song. The intricately engraved arch was just the beginning. Carved into the rock wall all along the island were perfect trees, mountains, curls of wind, the sun, moon, and stars, even the faces of the Creators. Every image important to the Witches was present. But the once beautiful carvings were worn by time and weather until they were mere shadows of their former majesty.
Much like the Witches themselves.

Chavis took the lantern and eased down the steps. The light threw harsh, crawling shadows on the walls and gave the carvings the appearance of movement, as if they were writhing away from the light. At the bottom, Senna stood on the mosaic stone floor, staring at the black surface of the pool.

Coyel breathed in sharply. “One of the boats is missing.”

“They’re gone then.” Chavis cursed. “How badly was he injured?”

Senna started to clench her fists. Pain shot from her palm up her arm. She made a sound that was somewhere between a grunt and a whimper. “About a hand’s span of glass in his stomach.”

Chavis chewed her lip. “The other one either carried him out or abandoned him. Come on, back to the place they were last seen.” She grabbed the lantern out of Drenelle’s hands and shoved it at Sacra. “You stay here just in case. Make sure no one gets past you.”

Sacra shot a concerned glance at Senna before hurrying after Chavis. “I’m not leaving my daughter.”

Chavis handed her one of the pistols. “We need Brusenna to show us where she was attacked. We need four of us to control the Four Sisters. You are extraneous, therefore you stay.”

Sacra stumbled to a halt, her mouth open as if to argue. She swallowed. “You brought me here for this—to guard the door.”

“Obviously.” Chavis started moving out. “Keep your back against the wall so they can’t sneak up on you. If you see one of them, shoot. Aim for the stomach—that way they’ll live long enough to be interrogated.”

Senna paused beside her mother. She couldn’t bring herself to leave her alone. “We shouldn’t—”

Coyel gripped her arm and propelled her forward. “Your mother is a very capable Witch. She’ll be fine.”

Senna turned to watch her mother in the small orb of lantern light. Sacra cocked back the hammer of the pistol and glared into the darkness. Hoping Coyel was right, Senna hurried to catch up with Chavis.

When they moved into the uninhabited quarter of Haven, Drenelle glanced at Senna askance. “What were you doing here?”

Senna’s mouth went dry, and she had to swallow several times before the words would come. “I couldn’t sleep.”

After a few minutes of blundering around, she stepped on something hard and oddly shaped. Her veins aching with dread, she stopped to pick it up. She turned it over in her good hand a few times before she realized what it was. A slingshot. Her head seemed to throb in response. “Here.”

Chavis pulled out her pistol. “Prenny and Coyel.”

Prenny handed her musket to Drenelle, who held it away from her body like it might sully her white chemise. Then the older Witch pulled out four glass vials. “Ready?”

Coyel crooned to the wind.

Wind, spread these Nips and blow them straight

To any who may lie in wait.

Wind gushed down on the tops of their heads, swelling away from them when it hit the ground. As Coyel continued the song, Prenny circled them and tossed the contents of each vial into the air. The wind caught the powder, billowing it outward.

Even with the currents blowing it away from their packed group, the Nips made the back of Senna’s throat itch and her eyes smart. She held her cloak over her face and squinted through watering eyes.

Coyel stopped singing and rested a hand on Senna’s shoulder. “Anyone the powder touched would erupt into a helpless fit of coughing.”

The Witches strained, listening. But there was no sound.

Chavis stared into the shadows. “We’re not going to find anything on a night like this. Best lock ourselves in and wait till morning. We can do a thorough search then.”

“Whoever it was, they’re either gone or dead,” Prenny said in obvious relief.

Coyel stared into the dark depths of the forest.

“Don’t be too relieved, Head. Someone brought them inside, which means we still have a traitor on the island.”

Page Turner's || Chapter 1
A Soul Unsung || Chapter 2
The Reading Geek || Chapter 3
Book Haven Extraordinare || Chapter 4
Clean Teen Fiction || Chapter 5
Amber Argyle || Chapter 5 Continued
LDS Book Review || Chapter 6

Giveaway!!! Giveaway!!!

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Amber Argyle grew up with three brothers on a cattle ranch in the Rocky Mountains. She spent hours riding horses, roaming the mountains, and playing in her family’s creepy barn. This environment fueled her imagination for writing high fantasy.

She has worked as a short order cook, janitor, and staff member in a mental institution. All of which has given her great insight into the human condition and has made for some unique characters.

She received her bachelor’s degree in English and Physical Education from Utah State Uiversity.

She currently resides in Utah with her husband and three small children.

Author information taken from her Goodreads.


  1. Clearly I NEED to read WITCH SONG. Thanks for this post, and for bringing this series back to my attention, Suz!

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

  2. Just an FYI: Chapter 6 can be found here at Why Not? Because I Said So!


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