Friday, September 21, 2012

Guest Post, Review & Giveaway - A Hint of Frost by Hailey Edwards

Please join me in welcoming Hailey Edwards to Queen of the Night Reviews.  Hailey has provided us with a guest post for today, with a video, a giveaway which will take place over the weekend.  I also have a review of her book below.  



While it might make some cringe, I watched The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings cartoons a million times when I was a kid. Though I was late showing enthusiasm to The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, a condition that has since been remedied, I am ridiculously excited to see the newest version of The Hobbit in theatres. Just look at this…

Beautiful, isn’t it? It’s come a long way from the cartoon version for sure.

You know, it never occurred to me when I was young that I was drawn to fantasy above all else. Part of that is because my entire family loves science fiction, and there was always something involving space or aliens on TV or in my parents’ hands. For me, science fiction fascinates, but fantasy is what makes my heart flutter. It makes me dream, and that is the most valuable writer’s tool there is.

After I wrote my first book, a fantasy romance (of course), and my mother read it, she said she had no clue where I got my ideas. That makes me wonder if she was actually paying attention to the movies she sat me in front of—Hello, Dark Crystal and The Last Unicorn!

But it’s the memory of one of my favorite aunts dancing through her living room singing “Where there’s a whip, there’s a way!” (which was part of the Return of the King soundtrack, I believe) that cements characters from The Hobbit as all-time favorites.

How about y’all? Is there one cartoon that you feel shaped your childhood? Or one cartoon you loved that you’re salivating to see made into a film?

Comment and be entered to win your choice from my digital backlist (excluding Soul Weaver), in any digital format.


Publication Date: April 17, 2012
Genre: Fantasy 
Series: Araneae Nation
ISBN: 978-1-60928-756-6
Length: 246 Pages


Hope dangles by a silken thread.

Araneae Nation, Book 1

When the head of the Araneidae clan is found poisoned in her nest, her eldest daughter, Lourdes, becomes their clan’s new maven. If her clan is to survive, she has but one choice: she must marry before her nest is seized. All she needs is a warrior fierce enough to protect her city and safeguard her clansmen. Such a male is Rhys the Cold.

Born the youngest son of an impoverished maven, the only things Rhys has to his name are his sword and his mercenary reputation. His clan is starving, but their fondness for the flesh of fellow Araneaeans makes them unwelcome dinner guests. Torn between loyalty to his clan and fascination with his future bride, Rhys’s first taste of Lourdes threatens to melt the cold encasing his heart.

Amid the chaos of battle, Lourdes’s sister disappears and is feared captured. Lourdes and Rhys pursue their enemies into the southlands, where they discover an odd plague ravaging southern clans as it travels north, to Erania. Determined to survive, Lourdes will discover whether she’s worth her silk or if she’s spun the thread by which her clan will hang.

Product Warnings:

This book contains one mercenary hero with a biting fetish, one determined heroine who gets nibbled, and an answer to the age-old question, “What does dragon taste like?” Matricide and sibling rivalry are available upon request. The house special is revenge, best served cold.


Chapter One

Fear kept my steps nimble. All my life, sentries had guarded these underground tunnels beneath the city of Erania. There was no one now. My clansmen hid in their nests, on my orders.

Darkness warped my sense of direction as cold shriveled the marrow in my bones.

Thump. Thump. Thump.

I froze. Were those…footsteps? Pressing my back against the chilled earth of the tunnel walls, I waited for the intruder to pass. No one materialized from whence I’d come. Yet the pounding stuffed my ears. Slumping, I realized my heart was to blame.

Another time, I would have laughed at how I leapt at shadows in my own clan home, but not this night. No doubt the one shadow I failed to outmaneuver would belong to an invader, the one footstep I ignored would be the one to crush me, and the one breath I held would be my last.

The people of my clan, the Araneidae, were gentle silk spinners, artisans without armaments.
I was one of the few Araneidae who favored weapons. Ironic I was unarmed now. Habit made my fingers creep down my thigh, but my quiver was absent and my bow leaned forgotten in a corner of my room. I’d been dressed for bed, not battle, when I witnessed first blood spilled.

Those who had been our guardians when my head sank into my pillow, the Theridiidae clan, had attacked during the night. The murderous bastards had betrayed us. Casualties littered the city above. Wounded huddled in the tunnel behind me, lives I had but this chance to save. I’d sent a plea for aid to the one clan cruel enough to stave off the Theridiidae invasion and, I hoped, merciful enough I hadn’t signed my death warrant by exposing my soft underbelly to them.

Gods, I hoped the Mimetidae weren’t hungry.

Light burned ahead, marking the tunnel’s end. Creeping to the edge where dark tunnel met lit square, I scanned the cobbled roads for intruders. I saw none. No shadows danced. No sound carried. All was quiet in this forgotten sector where stone statuary stood as silent sentinels to the night.

Swallowing a bitter lump, I stepped from protection onto the uneven pavers.

Frigid winds sliced my cheeks raw, and my breath hung in clouds suspended before me.
Between one frantic beat of my heart and the next, darkness coalesced and Theridiidae warriors bled from the shadows I’d just deemed safe. Their faces were familiar. They’d been employed by my father. Sightless eyes…blackened skin…the stink of rotten flesh…both dead…

I squeezed my eyes shut, stomach roiling, ready to spill.

“You’re out past your curfew, aren’t you, Lourdes?” The guard’s concern rang genuine until my eyes opened and I caught the eager gleam in his. “Your father will worry.” He presented his arm to me. This morning I would have accepted it without hesitation. “I’ll take you home.”

His companions smirked, confirming my suspicions. They were conspirators as well.

“Thank you.” Winter’s chill kissed my bare shoulders, and I shivered. “I know my way.”

“Do you now?” He stared where my nipples pebbled so hard they burned. “The city at night is a dangerous place.” He rubbed his jaw. “You’re wearing but a scrap of silk.”

“I forgot my coat.” I forced an embarrassed smile and poised to turn. “I’ll go fetch it.”

He nodded. “I’ll go with you.”

No.” My voice rang brittle with the cold and my fear. “I mean, I can do it myself.”

“Is there something the matter?” His name came to me. Tyrone. He and his men were Theridiidae and guardians of the wall. They had once been trustworthy. Now they would die.

Guest Review by Nancy G. from My Odd Little World

A Hint of Frost, the first book in Hailey Edwards’ new Araneae Nation series is filled with secret, family betrayal, murder, treachery and deceit. It is also filled with new and different characters, and a surprising romance at the heart of it all. The world here is an unfamiliar one, and the people are something quite different from anything I’ve read before. I would like to learn more about the society and the people of the Araneae Nation, these people with strange talents and customs, and adventurous spirits.

When the leader, or maven, of the Araneidae clan is murdered, poisoned in her own nest, her daughter Lourdes takes her place, and knows she must marry to protect her clan and her city. She needs a warrior, one strong enough to protect her city and her clan, and she chooses one from an impoverished clan, Rhys the Cold. As the bargain is sealed, Lourdes’ sister disappears, and it is thought she may have gone willingly enough. As maven, Lourdes decides she will venture out to rescue her, and find out the truth: was her sister a traitor and murderer of their parents, or an unwitting pawn in a larger game of intrigue and danger.

As Lourdes and Rhys, along with a select group of warriors and trackers fallow the trail, Lourdes learns to respect and then care for the warrior she has chosen as husband. As secrets are revealed and the plot grows ever more dangerous, can Lourdes rescue her sister and also win the heart of the warrior she has learned is nothing like his name implies.

This is an intriguing look at a new and unusual culture, and one that takes you one a passionate and dangerous journey through new and unusual locales and rare and strange new beings. I do wish that Ms. Edwards had included a glossary in the book, something to describe the various clans and the different talents and skills of the people in this new world.  The characters are strong and compelling and the story kept me on the edge of my seat with suspense at who was behind the various plots. All in all an intriguing first book in a new and unusual world.
Please don't forget to leave a comment or question below for Hailey to be entered to win your choice from her digital backlist (excluding Soul Weaver) in any digital format.



  1. This book definitely sounds like something I want to read. I'm going to check it out on Goodreads right after I'm done here.

    As for cartoons - I am all about The Last Unicorn!! It's definitely one of my cherished movies, and I made sure to buy the DVD so I could watch it any time. And that bull still scares me! Another one I loved, although not really fantasy... although maybe it is? The Secret of Nimh. I love that movie beyond words!

    Thanks for all of the great parts of this post. I am super excited to read this book!

    liz at fictional candy dot com

  2. thanks for a fabulous post and giveaway! I've had major book lust for this title! It sounds fantastic!


  3. Yes! The Secret of Nimh is another good one. Plus Flight of Dragons. Love those cartoons. :D

  4. Wow the cover is beautiful and the excerpt just makes it sounds all the better!


  5. I loved this book and highly recommend it! The world building is just fantastic and oh so interesting!! Definitely different from anything that it out there!!