Sunday 12 October 2014

Blog Tour Excerpt & Giveaway - Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios

Exquisite Captive
Dark Caravan Cycle #1
Author: Heather Demetrios
Release Date: October 7th, 2014
Publisher: Balzer+Bray

Book Description:
Forced to obey her master.
Compelled to help her enemy.
Determined to free herself.

Nalia is a jinni of tremendous ancient power, the only survivor of a coup that killed nearly everyone she loved. Stuffed into a bottle and sold by a slave trader, she’s now in hiding on the dark caravan, the lucrative jinni slave trade between Arjinna and Earth, where jinn are forced to grant wishes and obey their human masters’ every command. She’d give almost anything to be free of the golden shackles that bind her to Malek, her handsome, cruel master, and his lavish Hollywood lifestyle.

Enter Raif, the enigmatic leader of Arjinna’s revolution and Nalia’s sworn enemy. He promises to free Nalia from her master so that she can return to her ravaged homeland and free her imprisoned brother—all for an unbearably high price. Nalia’s not sure she can trust him, but Raif’s her only hope of escape. With her enemies on the hunt, Earth has become more perilous than ever for Nalia. There’s just one catch: for Raif’s unbinding magic to work, Nalia must gain possession of her bottle…and convince the dangerously persuasive Malek that she truly loves him. Battling a dark past and harboring a terrible secret, Nalia soon realizes her freedom may come at a price too terrible to pay: but how far is she willing to go for it?

Inspired by Arabian Nights, EXQUISITE CAPTIVE brings to life a deliciously seductive world where a wish can be a curse and shadows are sometimes safer than the light.

Buy Links:

Excerpt from Exquisite Captive

This excerpt happens near the beginning of the novel, when Nalia and Raif have their first real conversation. Fair warning, there is a slight spoiler here, but it has the same spoiler as the jacket copy for the book, so if you read that, you’re good.

Fun fact: this is one of the most revised scenes in the novel. It was incredibly tricky, setting up the dynamic between these two characters and cluing the reader into some pretty important stuff about the jinni world. It was a great challenge, though, and, of course, so much fun to set up the series’ romance! FYI: you’ll see a reference to the “Ifrit” jinn—these are the bad jinn, who’ve laid waste to Arjinna, the jinni realm.

The Djan jinni was sitting on the lip of an ornately carved fountain, digging the toe of his scuffed boot into the grass at his feet. He looked up, his keen eyes watchful. Nalia pulled the jade dagger out of her boot and settled into a fighting stance. Too late, she realized the garden had not been the best choice of meeting places: he would receive just as much power from the rich soil as she would, though she could still benefit from the water in the fountain and the wind. Still, she hoped he would pick up the shift in her energy and think twice about battling with her again—after all, she’d been trained since birth to deal with ruffians like him.

“If you’re not here to kill me, then what do you want?” she said.

He spread his hands wide. “Come on. We both know that knife’s useless—I’m not one of your little human wishmakers.”

She’d let him keep thinking that. Nalia was sure he’d find out soon enough just how special the blade could be. It was the only thing she’d taken with her out of Arjinna, so cleverly disguised with an invisibility charm that neither Malek nor the slave trader was the wiser.

“All the same, I think I’ll keep pointing it at you,” she said. “Now answer my questions.”

The jinni stood, a scowl on his face. “I don’t take orders from Ghan Aisouri, let’s get that straight.”

She wished he were ugly—it’d be only too easy to come up with just the right insult. But Nalia couldn’t deny that he actually was handsome in a roguish kind of way. His shaggy brown hair kept falling into his eyes, which were a particular shade of green that she’d never seen on Earth. He’d slung the fancy suit coat he’d worn at the party over a rosebush, opting for rolled-up sleeves and an untucked shirt. His cheeks had the shadow of a beard—a week’s worth of stubble—and he carried himself with a certain thuggish wariness, as though he expected to find enemies around every corner. She felt that sense of recognition again, but it’d been so long since she’d been in Arjinna. Why was he so familiar? A memory tugged on the edge of her consciousness, but it was too fuzzy to make out. He clearly hadn’t been on Earth long—he seemed uncomfortable in its heavy air, startled by noises that had grown familiar to her. She looked down at his bare wrists—no shackles. Maybe he was telling the truth about not working for the Ifrit. If he did, he wouldn’t be a free jinni. Maybe he was a jinni in exile—a runaway slave whose shackles had disappeared as soon as he stepped on Earth through the portal. But what would a runaway slave want with her?

“Who sent you?” she asked.

A corner of his lips turned up. “I sent myself. I’m sure it’s hard for you to imagine a Djan with free will, but I assure you, it’s possible.”

“Who are you, serfling?” Nalia asked, her breath suddenly shallow.

Resistance, she thought. He had to be with the rebels who had fought the Ghan Aisouri for centuries and now pitted themselves against the Ifrit. Ever since Nalia was a child, the mystery of the free serfs had fascinated her. How was it possible that jinn with no magical education had somehow discovered a magic that had eluded the most gifted mages in the land? For the past three years, Nalia had ached to contact them so that she, too, could be free of her shackles. But doing so would have amounted to suicide: other than the Ifrit, there would be no one happier to kill Nalia than the resistance.

The Djan’s eyes narrowed. “Not a serf,” he said, holding up his bare wrists. He paused and gave a pointed look at Nalia’s shackles, just long enough for her to blush. “I’m called Raif. Raif Djan’Urbi.”

Nalia’s eyes widened. The answering smirk on his face told her he’d noticed her reaction. Of course. Now she knew why he’d seemed so familiar. What is the leader of the Arjinnan revolution doing in Malek’s rose garden?

She’d only seen Raif for a moment, years ago, but the image had seared itself into her memory. Though she’d thought of it often, he was now almost unrecognizable from the tiny youth she’d encountered standing on top of a pile of burning rubble, a defiant fist raised to the sky. Seconds before, she’d seen his father, the leader of the revolution, die in the mud at the hands of the senior Ghan Aisouri. Nalia had known what she was supposed to do—the empress had made it very clear that Dthar Djan’Urbi and his son needed to die. Nalia had raised her hands, preparing to rip the life force out of the young revolutionary. But the purity of his zeal, the passion blazing in his eyes—she couldn’t do it. Something like that didn’t belong in a cage or on a pyre.

And now here they were. Every time Nalia showed mercy, somewhere down the line, the jinni she spared tried to murder her.

About The Author
When she's not traipsing around the world or spending time in imaginary places, Heather Demetrios lives with her husband in New York City. Originally from Los Angeles, she now calls the East Coast home. Heather is a recipient of the PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award for her debut novel, Something Real, which Publisher's Weekly calls “[An] addictive yet thoughtful debut” about reality TV stardom. She is the author of the upcoming EXQUISITE CAPTIVE, a smoldering fantasy about jinn in Los Angeles and what Kirkus called in its starred review "an intoxicating, richly realized realm of magic, politics, spirituality and history" (#1 in the DARK CARAVAN CYCLE). She is also the author of the upcoming I’ll Meet You There (Winter 2015). I’ll Meet You There is a love story about a young combat veteran and a girl trapped in their small town, both struggling to escape the war at home.

Heather is the founder of Live Your What, an organization dedicated to fostering passion in people of all ages and creating writing opportunities for youth of limited economic means. She is proud to have an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. You can always find her on Twitter (@HDemetrios), ogling the military dogs she wants to adopt (but can’t because her NYC apartment is way too small). Find out more about Heather and her other books at and


23 Winners will get a signed finished copy of Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios.
Must be 13+ To Enter. Ships to US only.

Blog Tour Organised by:

1 comment: