Excerpt: Raising The Horsemen by Serena Valentino [Rock Star Book Tours]

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the RAISING THE HORSEMAN by Serena Valentino Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway! 

About the Book:

Synopsis:

From the New York Times best-selling author of Disney’s Villains series comes a ghostly new stand-alone novel that reimagines The Legend of Sleepy Hollow through the eyes of a modern teen.
 
The two-hundredth anniversary of the Headless Horseman’s legendary haunting of Sleepy Hollow is approaching, but Kat van Tassel wants nothing to do with the town’s superstitious celebrations. As a descendant of the original Katrina van Tassel, Kat knows she’s expected to fulfill her ancestor’s legacy by someday marrying her longtime boyfriend and running the prestigious family estate. But Kat dreams of a life outside Sleepy Hollow.
 
Then Kat meets Isadora, a new girl in town who challenges Kat to reexamine those expectations, opens her eyes to the possibility that ghosts are real, and makes her question who she truly wants to be . . . and be with.
 
When Kat is given the original Katrina’s diary, a new legend begins to take shape, one that weaves together the past and the present in eerie ways. Can Kat uncover a two-hundred-year-old secret, and trace its shocking reverberations in her own life, in time to protect what she truly loves?
 
Fans of Serena Valentino will delight in this supernatural coming-of-age tale that finally gives the women of Sleepy Hollow a chance to tell their side of the story.

Review:

“A sweet retelling of a spooky classic.”Kirkus Reviews

Excerpt:

PROLOGUE

SLEEPY HOLLOW

If the fine denizens of Sleepy Hollow are to be believed, every single person who lives here has had  at least one supernatural experience. It’s a ghostly  place still firmly rooted in its past, steeped in tradition  and superstition. It’s a dreamlike and drowsy town only  disturbed by the ghosts and shadows that still haunt it.  Something holds sway over the people who live there; it  fills their minds with dark stories, strange visions, and  bizarre beliefs. The town of Sleepy Hollow, many say,  is haunted. 

There are some haunted by memories, some by  tradition, while others insist they are haunted by the  spirits of this ghostly place. Some tell tales of having  witnessed the apparitions of dead soldiers replaying  their last moments on the battlefield, or a sinister set of eyes peering at them from the hollow of an old tree,  or of hearing whispers dancing on the breeze just over  their shoulders while they walk deserted forest paths.  But the spirit that seems to dominate their minds and  imaginations most is the phantom of a headless man  astride a black spectral horse. The Headless Horseman. 

It’s believed he was a Hessian trooper who lost his  head to cannon fire during the Revolutionary War. It’s a  ghastly image: the poor man’s head being carried away  by a cannonball, never to be found again. This spirit  haunts the nightmares of the children of Sleepy Hollow,  only to creep back into their dreamscapes years later  when they are adults. 

The Hessian’s body was buried in the churchyard,  and it is rumored his ghost travels from his resting place  to the scene of the battle in search of his head. But by  all accounts, this ghost isn’t confined to reliving his  final moments or restricted to wandering the same paths  again and again: The Headless Horseman has been seen  astride his dark steed on forest paths and dark roads,  both common and rarely used, and often on the almost  entirely hidden path that leads to the Oldest Tree, one  of Sleepy Hollow’s most cherished landmarks. 

For beneath that tree, half-hidden behind the twisted low hanging branches, many residents of Sleepy Hollow  say they have seen the ghost of Katrina Van Tassel whispering to the spirit of the Headless Horseman, who  some believe resides within the venerable oak.

ONE

THE LONGEST TWILIGHT

Make no mistake about it—this isn’t Ichabod Crane’s story. Oh sure, he blunders in and  out of our tale, tripping over the pages and  making the usual fool of himself, but this adventure  belongs to Katrina Van Tassel and her granddaughter  many times over, Kat Van Tassel. 

Kat’s tale begins when she is eighteen, on the two  hundredth anniversary of Katrina Van Tassel’s death— the night known in Sleepy Hollow as the Longest   Twilight. Like many in the little town of Sleepy Hollow,  Katrina loved twilight, the time between day and night  right before you are expected to be snug in your home,  safe from the apparitions that creep out of the shadows  when the darkness comes. 

According to the legend, on the night Katrina died the last vestiges of twilight stretched on until midnight,  the Witching Hour: a time when the dead come out of  their hiding places and move among us, a time when  anything is possible. And though not since Katrina’s  death has twilight stretched so far, the people of Sleepy  Hollow still call the anniversary of her death the Longest  Twilight. 

Kat Van Tassel grew up with these traditions and  superstitions. She had heard stories about Katrina and  the ghosts of Sleepy Hollow since she was a little girl. As  far back as she could remember, the town would gather  together to decorate Katrina’s grave with her favorite  flowers on the Longest Twilight. When she was five, she  had asked her mother why everyone in town took sprigs  of those flowers home with them to hang above their  doorways. To appease the Headless Horseman, her mother  said. The legend says the ghost will pass your house by as long  as you pay proper tribute to his dearest love, Katrina. 

Five-year-old Kat had closed her eyes tight, and  tried not to think about what would happen if he didn’t pass their house, a thought that would haunt her until  she no longer believed in ghosts. 

The Longest Twilight was one of the most revered  traditions in Sleepy Hollow, second only to the Van Tassel Annual Harvest Ball, which always followed a few days  after. And on the night Kat’s story begins, the Van  Tassels had been preparing for the ball in a fevered  frenzy, pausing for the evening to pay their respects to  their ancestor, Katrina Van Tassel. The Longest Twilight  was not a night for harvesting pumpkins to carve, planning menus, sewing costumes, and hiring bands. It was  a night to dim the lights and sit by the fire, an evening  of stories, and of peering out windows in hopes of catching a glimpse of the Headless Horseman. It was a night  the eldest members of the family told stories about the  great Katrina Van Tassel. 

However, the festivities did not go on as Kat’s parents would have liked, for everyone had been at the cemetery to honor Katrina except Kat. Right before twilight  ended, Kat came bounding into the house in her usual  fashion, causing a great commotion by dropping her  pile of books with a loud thump before thundering up  the stairs to her bedroom. 

“Kat Van Tassel, don’t you dare go off to your room.  You come down here this instant!” Kat’s mother, Trina,  always got this way when preparing for the Harvest  Ball, and Kat had been hoping to avoid her this evening.  She was late, and she knew it. “Great Hollows Ghost, 

Kat, you are testing my patience, now get down here!”  her mother bellowed from the kitchen. 

“Yes, Mom?” Kat asked as she peered into the  kitchen a moment later. 

“Home right before dark, as usual,” said her mother,  putting down a stack of papers she had just been looking at. 

“I lost track of time reading.” Kat’s mother opened  the oven and looked in. “What’s for dinner tonight?”  Kat added, trying to distract her from the tirade she  knew was coming to her after arriving home so late  and missing the Longest Twilight celebration at the cemetery. 

“You know very well what’s for dinner! We have  it every year on this night! Katrina’s favorite, chicken  with olives and garlic. Speaking of which, where were  you when we decorated Katrina’s tomb earlier? Every one kept asking, ‘Where’s Kat? Where’s Katrina’s  namesake?’” 

Kat sighed. “We’re all Katrina’s namesake, Mom.” Kat’s mother closed the oven, took off her apron, and  put her hands on her hips. “That’s right. And you’re a  bit too much like her if you ask me!” 

Kat felt bad that she hadn’t met her family in the cemetery to decorate Katrina’s grave, as they did every  year in the late afternoon on the Longest Twilight. In  her mother’s opinion, that tradition was the most important part of the Longest Twilight celebration, and Kat  missed it. She hadn’t intended to; time had just slipped away while she was reading, and now she felt bad. “I’m sorry, Mom, I really should have been there. Is  there anything I can do to help?” 

Her mother smiled. “You can put the sprigs of flowers over the doorway outside. They’re on the dining  room table.” 

Kat went into the dining room, where the table was  already set. The light was still golden outside, making  the room look warm, like it was already glowing with  candlelight. She saw the flowers sitting there, bound  together by a purple ribbon. She loved the scent of them, thick and heavenly and filling the room. 

As she was walking toward the front door, her father,  Artis, burst in like a bear in stocking feet, which made  Kat laugh because that is what his name meant—bear.  “Kat! It’s almost dark, get those flowers up immediately! And where’s your mother? I have to talk with her  about something!” 

Kat laughed at her father. He was such a strong, sturdy man, and gruff most of the time, but she couldn’t  take him seriously in his stocking feet. Kat’s mother  demanded long ago that he take off his boots before  coming into the house if he had been out in the fields  with his workers. Which of course he didn’t need to do,  but insisted upon it anyway. The Van Tassels are working  people, he would say. Even if they did have more money  than anyone else in the county, her mother and father  tried to live their life modestly. 

“She’s in the kitchen. Where she always is.” Kat said  the latter half under her breath. She went outside and  hung the flowers on the black wrought-iron hook that  had been there since she could remember. For all she  knew it had been there when the original Katrina was  a little girl. 

Kat stood there looking at the flowers, wondering  if the Headless Horseman was real. She wondered what  would become of her life, living on her family’s estate  like all the other Katrinas before her. 

All the women in the family were named after the  first Katrina Van Tassel, and they had all found ways  to make their names more individual. Kat’s mother, for  example, went by Trina, and Kat’s grandmother was  Kate. The original Katrina had decided in her time that the succession of inheritance would go to the firstborn  daughter of every generation, but they couldn’t inherit  unless they were named after her and they kept the  name Van Tassel. Which would mean the men who  married into the family would have to be pretty open minded, especially during the generations when such a  thing was unheard of, but then again, it took a special  kind of person to marry a Katrina

Kat hated having her fate already decided for her.  If previous generations of Van Tassel women were any  guide, she would spend the rest of her life on this estate,  and marry a man who would oversee the farm, their  numerous crops, and their enterprises. If she had an  interest in farming and the running of an estate, then  she didn’t see why she couldn’t just run things herself!  But the fact was she wanted to go away to school, but  her family insisted she stay in Sleepy Hollow and receive  her education at Ichabod Crane High from teachers who  taught her nothing of the world because they had never  ventured outside of Sleepy Hollow. 

Kat thought it was ridiculous that her high school  was named after the most historically hated man in  Sleepy Hollow. But the name was a warning about  what may befall those who didn’t take the Legend of Sleepy Hollow seriously. Crane High offered the usual  array of subjects found at any other high school, however there was always some sort of supernatural aspect  that seemed to eclipse the subject at hand. Math, for  example, included the study of numerology and divination through the use of numbers. The history curriculum always highlighted historical legends both in  and outside of Sleepy Hollow (even from places with  high supernatural activity like New Orleans and San  Francisco). Why ghost stories were considered “historical events” was beyond Kat’s comprehension. Kat didn’t  believe in ghosts, but her teachers and classmates didn’t  share her skepticism, or if they did they didn’t make  it known. And since it was the only school in Sleepy  Hollow, she had to attend the high school founded by  Ichabod Crane. 

Despite being a nonbeliever, Kat loved a good story,  no matter its subject, and she made it her business to  read as much as she could. She would slip away as often  as possible, sit at her favorite café or by the Oldest Tree  and read. She read all manner of books, fairy tales,  mysteries, ghost stories (just because she didn’t believe  them didn’t mean she didn’t enjoy them), science fiction, romance, vampire stories, anything she could get her hands on. And that’s what they were to her: stories.  Fiction. Just like the stories she grew up with in Sleepy  Hollow. But her true passion was nonfiction. She loved  reading about other countries, their monarchs, and history. Not their legends, but the actual events that took  place. And she had a large collection of travel books. She  loved sitting for hours just reading about all the places  she would love to visit, but feared she would never see. 

Life felt small to Kat, every day doing the same  things, seeing the same people, walking the same paths,  and as much as she loved it, sitting under the same tree,  and hearing the same ghost stories on the same nights  every year, books were a way to make her life feel larger.  A way to escape. 

“Kat! What are you doing just standing there, daydreaming as usual? Light the candles and shut out the  lights. You act as if we’ve never celebrated the Longest  Twilight,” her father grumbled as he came back into  the dining room. Kat sighed and went to the fireplace,  taking a long matchstick from its box. She struck it  along the side and watched the flame burst to life. She  went about the room lighting all the candles, and then  turned off the lights. Every year, she remembered how  much she loved this room by candlelight, the way the flames cast shadows on the walls. Sometimes she could  swear she saw Katrina’s silhouette in the shadows. She  remembered being a little girl and watching the candlelight dancing on the walls while she listened to her  family tell the Longest Twilight story, and she was sure  they were surrounded by ghosts. And then it occurred  to her that everyone in Sleepy Hollow was doing the  same thing she and her family were this evening, sitting  in candlelit rooms, watching the flames and shadows  dance, and telling stories about Katrina Van Tassel the  first. She longed for the days when she still believed in  all the old stories, and wondered exactly when she had  started to doubt they were real. 

“Kat, go help your mother bring dinner to the  table.” Kat’s father was a hulking man with rough hands  and a weatherworn face from all of the time he spent  outdoors. But Kat thought he was a handsome man  even if the lines in his face resembled chiseled rock,  and his large, intense eyes always looked a little too serious. He was the perfect partner for her mother. Content  to spend his life with the running of the farm while  she dedicated her life to the running of the house. It  was all a bit antiquated for Kat, but it seemed to work  for her parents. They were quite the pair, the two of them, her father with his dark hair and eyes, often with  a full dark beard, and his massive build and height,  and her mother so small, soft, and round, all golden,  and peaches and cream. Kat had inherited her father’s  height, dark eyes and hair, and his darker complexion.  She was the first Katrina Van Tassel not to have blond  hair, and she rather liked it. 

Kat did as her father asked and went to the kitchen  to help her mother. They could have a cook and a legion  of servants if they wanted, but Kat’s mother preferred  to do almost everything herself. Of course, she would  hire help for the harvest ball and other grand events,  but the daily running of the house was entirely on her  mother’s shoulders, with one exception: Maddie, who  had been with the Van Tassels for as long as Kat could  remember. She was more her mother’s companion than  anything else, but she did help with the running of the  house, making trips to the market, and helping Kat’s  mother with anything she might need. Maddie was  an older woman, originally a part of Grandma Kate’s  household when the house was bursting with servants.  Kat’s mom couldn’t bring herself to let the woman go  because she had been more like a second mother to  her than anything else, and she didn’t want to deprive the woman of her wage, which she depended on since  being widowed—and Kat’s mom knew Maddie wouldn’t  except money without working for it. Kat was happy to  always have Maddie in the house—she loved her really,  she was like a grandmother to her. An opinionated,  sassy grandmother, but a grandmother nevertheless. 

“Where’s Maddie, Mom?” 

Kat’s mother gave her a queer look. “I gave her the  evening off to spend with her gentleman caller, of course.  I fear we might lose Maddie to him. I can’t imagine life  without her,” she said, brushing away a long strand of  golden hair that had fallen into her face. 

“‘Gentleman caller?’ Who even says that anymore?”  Kat’s mom made her laugh sometimes. The way she  talked, it was as if they were still living in Katrina’s day  and not two hundred years later. 

“Kat, stop teasing me. Can you please just take all  these serving dishes to the table while I freshen up? I  hate for your father to see me looking so untidy.” Kat  smiled at her mother. She thought her mother was beautiful. She looked like all the Katrinas before her: blond  and buxom, with peachy skin and rosy cheeks. She wondered what the first Katrina would think of Kat’s dark hair and long willowy frame. She was so different from  all the other Katrinas. 

Kat took all the serving dishes into the dining  room, where her father was waiting. Kat loved this  room, with its dark woodwork, built-in china hutch  with china dating back to Katrina’s time, and the grand,  ornately carved dining table that was far too big for  just the three of them. This house was built for entertaining, which they did quite often, but this evening  it would just be family. Her father was standing at the  fireplace and lighting his pipe. Ever since Kat was young  she loved the smell of her father’s pipe smoke, and she  enjoyed watching it curl in billowing plumes, swirling  and then filling the dining room. Her mother hated  it and wished he would smoke his pipe outside. Family legend dictated there was a long line of men who  smoked at the fireplace and wives who disapproved,  which made Kat laugh because it seemed to her nothing in her family—or in Sleepy Hollow for that matter— ever changed. This was vividly and painfully illustrated  every time her parents nudged her toward marriage, and  she was gearing up for them to raise the topic again this  evening. She was only eighteen, about to graduate from  high school, and the last thing on her mind was getting married. But things ran differently in Sleepy Hollow,  especially if you were a Van Tassel. Sometimes it felt to  Kat that the world moved on without her, and indeed  moved on without Sleepy Hollow, where time felt as if  it had stopped. 

“Your mother is off sprucing herself up, I suppose?”  her father said, laughing. 

“Yes, but you’re not supposed to know that. You’re  to think she magically looks perfectly put together and  beautiful even though she’s been cooking all day.” 

Kat’s father smiled. “Your mother always looks  beautiful, sprucing or no.” It made Kat happy her parents were so in love and seemed so content in their roles.  “Where’s Blake?” Her father looked at his watch. “It’s  not like him to be late.” 

Blake was Kat’s boyfriend. Kat could hardly remember a time when Blake wasn’t in her life. Every memory  of her childhood included him, so it seemed natural as  they grew up they would fall in love. He was like most  of the young men in Sleepy Hollow: obsessed with the  occult and the supernatural. He ran around with the  Sleepy Hollow Boys trying to raise spirits from the dead,  doing seances, and trying to find the resting place of  the Headless Horseman’s head. Of course, nothing ever came of it, but it seemed they had a good time winding each other up, playing elaborate pranks, and trying  to make each other believe they had found the Hessian  soldier’s head. 

Kat wondered if the Sleepy Hollow Boys thought  that name was original, but who was she to comment  on the unoriginality of names? She was, after all, one of  many Katrina Van Tassels. 

“I told him I would rather spend the evening alone  with you and mom tonight,” Kat said as her mother  came into the room. 

“Blake isn’t coming over this evening? Well, that’s  a shame.” Kat’s mother stood under the archway that  separated the dining room from the library. She had  refreshed her makeup and hair and looked perfect, as  always. 

“We don’t have to spend every day together, Mom.”  Kat was annoyed. She knew what was coming. “I suppose there will be time enough for that once  you are married,” her mother said, winking at Kat as  she sat down at her place at the table. 

“Who says I’m getting married, to Blake or anyone?” Kat’s father dropped his fork onto his plate with a  clatter, causing her mother to jump.

“Now, now, don’t upset your father. I’d hate for my china to pay the price for your insolence.” 

Kat took a deep breath. She didn’t want to have this conversation again. 

“I’m not being rude, Mom. I’m just saying how I  feel. I don’t know if I ever want to get married. What’s  the big deal?” 

Kat’s father cleared his throat with a deep grumble.  This was usually a cue that he was about to say something he felt was important and he wanted everyone’s  attention. 

“It’s a very big deal, Kat. You have a legacy to  uphold, traditions to pass down, and responsibility to  this community. You and your future husband will have  a duty to run this estate together after your mother and  I step down. We employ most of the young men in this  county, and a good number of the women depend on  our crops to make their preserves and the baked goods  that they sell to the city folk who visit here.” 

Kat rolled her eyes. “Do you even hear yourself,  Dad? Men working in the fields, the women at home  baking?” Both of her parents looked dumbfounded at  her question. 

“This is how it’s been here for generations, my girl. 

I don’t see what you’re balking at. I’m getting old, Kat,  I can’t keep doing this forever. We need a younger man  running things here so your mother and I can enjoy our  twilight years, hopefully with little grandbabies bouncing on our knees.” The thought of having children, at  least anytime in the near future, made Kat cringe. She  loved her parents but hated how old-fashioned they  were. 

Kat got up from her seat, walked over to the window, and opened the curtains with a violent snap. All  the curtains had been closed to protect against the spirit  of the Hessian Rider, and her parents gasped. 

“The last thing I’m thinking about right now is  marriage and having children. And honestly, I’m sick  to death of talking about it, let alone all our traditions  and superstitions. Have either of you seen the Headless  Horseman even once? Do you actually believe the stories you tell on the Longest Twilight or on All Hallows’  Eve? Tell me? Does anyone in this town? It’s like some  mass hallucination.” 

“Katrina! Close those curtains this instant!” Her  mother ran over and shut the drapes herself. “My name is Kat! And I’m not going to marry Blake or anyone else just because you think I should.” Kat  stomped off and up the stairs to her room. Her mother sighed heavily. “I’m sorry, darling. I’ll  go upstairs and talk to her.” She kissed her husband on  the cheek. 

“Please talk some sense into her, Trina. I don’t like  what I see in that girl lately.” 

“Don’t worry about Kat. She has a lot of the first  Katrina in her.” She put her hand tenderly on her  husband’s. But Artis only frowned. 

“I know, my dear, and that’s what worries me most.” 

#

Kat slammed her bedroom door behind her. She  instantly felt silly for making such a fuss. It was typical teenage behavior, and Kat hated to be typical. “Kat,  can I come in?” It was Kat’s mom on the other side of  her bedroom door. The last thing Kat wanted to do  was talk to her mom, but she knew if she didn’t let her  in it would hurt her feelings and only make the situation worse. 

“Come in.” Trina opened the door slowly, careful  not to knock over the many stacks of books by the  door. Kat’s room was filled with books, stacks of them everywhere, on her desk, the floor, and in her window  seat. 

“Kat, you have too many books. You should really  put these away in the library. It’s getting crowded up  here,” she said, looking around the room and then sitting on the chair near the window. “What’s gotten into  you, Kat? Did you and Blake get into a fight? I don’t  understand where all of this is coming from. Saying you  never want to marry? He’s exactly the sort of man you  should be happy to settle down with.” 

Kat got up from the bed, knocking over a pile of  books and swearing under her breath. 

“But that’s just it, Mom. I don’t think I ever want  to get married. Especially not with you, dad, and Blake  pressuring me.” 

Kat’s mother’s eyes grew wide with excitement. “Has  he asked you to marry him? Why didn’t you tell me?” Kat scoffed. “He hasn’t asked, Mom. He just  assumes we’ll get married after we graduate, and honestly that’s part of the problem. Everyone just assumes.  I’ve never traveled outside of Sleepy Hollow, not once.  Not even to go to the city. You and Dad won’t let me.  You believe we live in a haunted town, Mom, a haunted  town; how dangerous would it be for me to visit New York? Everyone here thinks we have a ghost who chops  off people’s heads, but you’re afraid to let me go to college. It doesn’t make sense.” 

“Kat, you’re the heir to a great legacy. You have a  duty not only to your family but to the people of this  town. To the Legend of Sleepy Hollow itself!” 

“Mom, you’re acting like I’m an heir to the throne or  something and it’s my royal duty. Do you have any idea  what century this is? You should be encouraging me to  go to college, not pressuring me into getting married.  I know people here get married after high school, but I  don’t want to be stuck here forever.” 

Kat’s mother got up and went to the foot of the bed,  where there was a large trunk. Kat had never opened  it—she was supposed to wait until she was married—but her mother opened it now. 

“What are you doing? We never open that,” Kat said. Her mother was busy looking for something and  didn’t answer. 

“Here,” she said finally, and pulled out a book. “Kat,  I want you to read this.” 

“You just said I have too many books.” 

“This is the first Katrina’s diary. You missed her  ceremony this evening and pretty much made a debacle of dinner, the least you can do is read about the great  woman you were named after, and once you’re done  reading her story, I want you to come to me and tell me  if you think our traditions and stories are, what did you  call it? A mass hallucination.” 

Kat smiled at her mom. Kat had been rotten at dinner and her mom was actually being pretty cool about  it. She was right, it was the least she could do, even  though she still planned to live her life as she chose.  She didn’t bother pointing out to her mother that if  she did have a mind to stay in Sleepy Hollow and run  things wouldn’t she be in a better position to do so with  a college education? But there was no arguing with her  parents on this topic, and she didn’t want to keep her  mom’s hopes up about her sticking around. She was  leaving one way or another. 

“Thanks, Mom. I will read it.” She put the book  on the bed and stood up. “Sorry about dinner. Should  we go downstairs? Dad is all alone down there waiting  for us.” 

“You stay here and read Katrina’s diary. I’ll bring  something up for you to eat in a little bit. Let’s give you  and your dad some time to cool off.” Trina gave her a  playful wink before she left. Kat’s mom liked to wink; it was her thing, and Kat thought it was cute. There were  a lot of things about her mom she liked, actually. She  started to feel bad that she ruined the Longest Twilight,  even if she felt she had a reason to be annoyed and angry  with her parents. 

Kat sighed and looked down at the book on the bed.  It was a thick brown leather-bound book. Across the  front, in gold lettering, it read: katrina van tassel.  The gold lettering had started to flake away in spots,  making it seem as though it read kat van tassel,  which made Kat smile, because Katrina was sitting in  Kat’s favorite spot, under the Oldest Tree, in the first  diary entry Kat read.

About Serena Valentino: 

Serena Valentino has been weaving tales that combine mythos and guile for the past decade.

She has earned critical acclaim in both the comic and horror domains, where she is known for her unique style of storytelling, bringing her readers into exquisitely frightening worlds filled with terror, beauty, and extraordinary protagonists.

The books in her best-selling Villains series are best enjoyed when read in the following order: Fairest of All, The Beast Within, Poor Unfortunate Soul, Mistress of All Evil, Mother Knows Best, Odd Sisters, Evil ThingCold Hearted, and Never Never.

She is also the author of the Villains graphic novels Evil Thing and Fairest of All.

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Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of RAISING THE HORSEMAN, US Only.

Ends October 7th, midnight EST.


Tour Schedule:

Week One:

9/1/2022Celia’s ReadsReview/IG Post
9/2/2022booksaremagictooReview/IG Post
9/3/2022Nonbinary Knight ReadsReview/IG Post

Week Two:

9/4/2022NerdophilesReview 
9/5/2022@ReaderOfTheWrittenWordIG Review
9/6/2022Eye-Rolling Demigod’s Book BlogReview/IG Post
9/7/2022Book-Keeping Review/IG Post
9/8/2022Ya Books CentralExcerpt
9/9/2022A Dream Within A DreamReview/IG Post
9/10/2022@lexijava Review/IG Post

Week Three:

9/11/2022Laurenreads._IG Review
9/12/2022The Bookwyrm’s DenReview 
9/13/2022Forthenovellovers Review
9/14/2022GryffindorBookishNerd IG Review
9/15/2022Epic Book SocietyExcerpt/IG Post
9/16/2022@booksrn_rashiReview/IG Post
9/17/2022Review Thick And ThinReview/IG Post

Week Four:

9/18/2022hauntedbybooksReview/IG Post
9/19/2022BookHounds YA Excerpt
9/20/2022Novel NoviceIG Spotlight
9/21/2022@ReadsReaders YouTube Review/IG Post
9/22/2022@enjoyingbooksagainIG Review
9/23/2022Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadersReview/IG Post
9/24/2022Momfluenster IG Review/FB Post

Week Five:

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About Louisa

Editor/Founder - Epic Book Society

Louisa is the founder, editor, and head honcho of Epic Book Society. Once a published poet at the age of 7, she aspired to become a journalist, but that career hit a wall so here she is writing about books instead. When she's not writing about books, she's teaching English to primary school kids around the world.

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