Mundie Moms

Friday, March 31, 2017

FORWARD INTO DARKNESS By Marlene Perez / Cover Reveal + Read The Prologue #ForwardIntoDarkness

Welcome to today's cover reveal for Marlene Perez's FORWARD INTO DARKNESS, being released on April 25th, 2017 by Paper Lantern Lit's Studio imprint. Today's cover reveal also includes a sneak peak into the book. 


I love this cover! I love the silhouette of the wolf mixed with the falling snow. I also love the little details on it, like the snow building up the tops of some of the letters. I'm a sucker for a wolf cover, and a good fantasy read. Yes, I'd pick up this book based on the cover alone.

What do you think about the cover? 

Along with today's cover reveal, we're also thrilled to share the book's prologue. After reading it, I definitely want to read more. Read more below! Be sure to leave us a comment letting us know what you think of the cover. 


For Valencia Paine, the world is as small as her family’s estate. Confined to the grounds because of unrest from the human-animal hybrids whose labor runs the city, Valencia observes life in Sombria from the other side of a wrought-iron fence.

Her father, a powerful scientist in Sombria’s popular—and oppressive—regime, claims it's for her own protection. But Valencia isn’t content to stay cloistered inside a cold, lonely mansion, with only books for company. When she slips away and encounters Mateo, a mysterious stranger with ties to the city's hybrids, she finds herself drawn into a life forbidden to her--and into a resistance movement that defies everything she thinks she knows.

As her father tightens his control of her by arranging a marriage to Henri, a rising star in the regime, Valencia becomes more determined to discover the truth. Will her defiance change her—and her world—forever?

With thrilling twists and romantic interludes, this fantasy is perfect for fans of Ransom Riggs and Marie Lu.


Marlene Perez is the author of paranormal and urban fantasy books, including the best-selling DEAD IS series for teens. The first book in the series, DEAD IS THE NEW BLACK, was named an ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers as well as an ALA Popular Paperback. DEAD IS JUST A RUMOR was on VOYA’s 2011 Best Science Fiction, Horror, & Fantasy List. Her novels have been featured in Girl’s Life, Seventeen, and Cosmopolitan. The Disney Channel has optioned the first three books in the DEAD IS series for television. 

She grew up in Story City, Iowa and is the youngest of twelve children. She lives in Orange County, California with her husband and children. Visit Marlene at



Before I leave the compound, I feel for the key my father gave me. It was a birthday gift; the key to the kingdom, he said. The key hangs on a long silver chain that is so finely crafted, it’s gossamer light around my neck.
Our compound, which could be considered a little kingdom on its own, is in the heart of Old Sombria. The wrought-iron fences are high and the gates are kept locked at all times. Crimson roses grow unchecked, their scent perfuming the air, and their vines, thick as a mermaid's hair, covering most of the fence.
I reach the gate and take off my necklace purposefully. I hear rusty metal scraping and I jump, but the sound does not come again.
I insert the key into the heavy brass lock and turn it. Nothing happens.
My eyes fill with tears. “But he said he trusted me,” I whisper to myself.
My key does not work, but there is a secret way out. I saw it in my dreams one night, and I found it at daybreak, but have never been brave enough to actually try it. Until now.
I push through the undergrowth, ignoring the pain as a sharp thorn pokes at my ribs. I find the hole under the fence and squeeze through the small opening. I stand up and I’m in the city proper. I am entranced, but there is no time for gawking.
I walk to the west gate of the city, wearing my plainest gown and sturdy shoes. The exit is about a mile from my home. I make it through without incident. The air is fresh and fragrant and green.
If I avoid the main road, the village is about a half-hour walk from Sombria. But I move swiftly, in a race with the setting sun.

There will be food, games, and music at the summer festival. Most important, I might meet children my own age. Maybe I will even dance with a boy. A hybrid boy. My palms sweat at the thought. To me, a boy is a boy, but I know Father would be furious.
The risk is worth it, though. Father is absent, probably visiting the beautiful widow with the sour-faced child. He will not be home until late, and by then, I will be safely tucked into my bed.
As I hurry along, indigo and crimson war with each other in the sky, but indigo eventually wins. The moon finally peeks out, relieved to find the battle over and the sky once again his.
I break the silence by humming to myself as I walk.
I race ahead, but when I reach the edge of the village, I stop to admire the community garden. Tall stalks of corn, plump red tomatoes, and leafy lettuce grow in abundance.
Despite the darkening sky, a woman is pulling weeds in between the rows of corn. When she sees me, she stands. “Welcome, little one,” she says. She is a kind-looking woman with a ruff of graying hair.
I shake her hand. “I am Valencia.” She doesn't ask me why I am here alone. “Is this the hybrid village?”
Her smile fades. “We prefer to be called garra roja, but yes, this is the village you seek.”
“Have I missed the dancing?”
She laughs. “No, the musicians have just arrived.”
I wrinkle my nose. There is something else in the air, something that makes my body go cold and still.
“What is that strange smell?” I ask. I glance around, trying to find its source.
Through the trees, I see dark figures walking into the village. There are long blades in their hands, which gleam in the moonlight.
Then, shrieks fill the air. Pleading and cursing and little children crying for their mothers. Thump. Thump. Thump. Bodies hit the ground. A thick, coppery scent. Blood.
The woman and I are frozen for a moment, unable to believe what is happening. I stare at her, unsure what to do.
“Hide, Valencia,” the older woman says. “I will be right back.” She takes off at a run.
I duck into the rows of corn and crouch, trembling. Bile rises in my mouth as the screams continue. I clap my hands over my ears, but I can still hear the awful sounds. I want to go and help them, but my courage fails me.
The screams finally stop. As I wait, my heart sounds loud in the silence around me.
The tang of freshly spilled blood fills the air. I hear the men leaving, pleasantly wishing each other good night, like they just put in a hard day at work. Like it was just another day.
Footsteps approach. I peek through the tall corn. Not all of the killers have gone. There are three men carrying long, sharp blades, stained with hybrid blood, and they’re walking toward the garden.
“We might as well help ourselves,” one man says. “They won't be needing it.”
“You'd eat kralle food?” another man asks. I recognize the word: a slur for hybrids.
They are right in front of my hiding place. I want to run, but the woman told me to hide. I am fast, but what if they are faster?
“Why not?” the first man replies. “That's all they're good for. Dirty work.”
A hand reaches for an ear of corn just above my head. I crouch lower, shaking with fear. He is so close.
I focus on the details to keep from screaming. There is blood splatter on his white shirt sleeves. He is wearing expensive gold cuff links, engraved with three letters. Is it a monogram? I can make out a T, a W, and an F. They are stacked together, but there is an arrow protruding out of the F. Not a monogram. An insignia. The Way Forward.
“What do we have here?”
I freeze, but it is too late.
“It looks like we missed one,” he says. He hauls me out of my hiding spot and throws me into the circle of three men.
“She doesn't look like a hybrid,” one man says. “She's pretty.” He licks his lips. I do not like the way he looks at me. They have forgotten their weapons, tossed them into the grass, but I have not.
“She's a hybrid all right,” another says. “Look at her eyes. No human has eyes like that.”
“I don't think she's a hybrid,” another says.
“Does it really matter? She's not going to tell anybody. Not when we're through with her.”
I am frozen with fear, but I try to run. The one closest to me yanks me back by my long blonde hair.
“Her eyes are creepy,” the first man says.
“Make her close them, then,” his companion tells him.
He reaches for me.
A blur of snarling, biting female lands on one of the men. In a second, the woman has slashed his throat with her sharp claws. A second man moves to pick up his knife, but I reach it first. I snatch it up and lunge, connecting to flesh and bone. It slices through his calf. He falls, his leg cut out from under him.
She advances upon the last man. “Please,” he says. “Please.”
Her claws flash and his pleading ends in a gurgle.
“Run,” the woman says. “Don't look back.”

I run, sobbing, trying to outrun the images I've just seen. But death can't be outpaced.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I like this cover too :D Thank you for sharing about this book Katie. <3