Thursday, December 12, 2013

Midnight City & The Severed Tower - Excerpy & Giveaway

Welcome to the 9th day of Christmahanakwanzika. Today, I've got excerpts from MIDNIGHT CITY and THE SEVERED TOWER, by J. Barton Mitchell. Also, don't forget to check out the giveaway down below.

Midnight City (Conquered Earth #1)
J. Barton Mitchell
YA Dystopian Science Fiction
Published: 10/30/2012

Earth has been conquered by an alien race known as the Assembly. The human adult population is gone, having succumbed to the Tone---a powerful, telepathic super-signal broadcast across the planet that reduces them to a state of complete subservience. But the Tone has one critical flaw. It only affects the population once they reach their early twenties, which means that there is one group left to resist: Children.

Holt Hawkins is a bounty hunter, and his current target is Mira Toombs, an infamous treasure seeker with a price on her head. It’s not long before Holt bags his prey, but their instant connection isn’t something he bargained for. Neither is the Assembly ship that crash-lands near them shortly after. Venturing inside, Holt finds a young girl who remembers nothing except her name: Zoey.

As the three make their way to the cavernous metropolis of Midnight City, they encounter young freedom fighters, mutants, otherworldly artifacts, pirates, feuding alien armies, and the amazing powers that Zoey is beginning to exhibit. Powers that suggest she, as impossible as it seems, may just be the key to stopping the Assembly once and for all.

Midnight City is the breathtaking first book of the Conquered Earth series.

    She leaped over roots, dodged trunks and brush. Behind her, she could hear Holt’s footfalls, hot in pursuit. She kept running, breathing hard, trying to put distance between them. 

    She bolted left, leapt over a fallen log, hoping to lose him. If she could get far enough ahead, she might—

    Mira skid to a jarring stop, almost falling flat on her face in a desperate attempt to halt. She stared ahead, wide-eyed at what was in front of her, felt the cold fingers of fear crawl up her spine at the sight.

    Slowly, breathing hard, trembling, she started to back away…
    …and Holt slammed into her from behind, drove her hard into the ground in front of another log. She groaned as the air burst from her lungs.

    Holt spun her around, opened his mouth to yell…then stopped when he saw her eyes. Mira knew he could see the terror in them. 

    Holt looked up and past her to where she had just been looking. She watched him react at the same thing she had seen.

    There was motion ahead of them. Huge shapes -- visible over the top of the fallen log -- moved in the dark, trailing colorful lights behind them. Strange, sinister, distorted electronic chirps echoed back and forth between them. The earth shuddered rhythmically as they moved, like giant feet pounding the ground.    

    Assembly walkers, half a dozen of them. 

    Probably the smaller Mantis type, but “smaller” was a relative term here. Holt froze with Mira under him. 

    “Get off me,” Mira whispered as loudly as she dared, “you’re on my—“ Holt clamped her mouth shut with his hand. She squirmed in fury, glared knives up at him, tried to bite his—

    They both went motionless as a red beam of light pulsed out towards them and split the air above their heads. 

    One of the Mantises was scanning near them, looking for them with its targeting laser. Had it heard them? If they were using infrared, she and Holt were done for.

The Severed Tower (Conquered Earth #2) 
J.Barton Mitchell
Published: November 19, 2013

Holt, Mira, and Max have fled Midnight City with Zoey after watching her repel an entire Assembly army. Zoey's powers are unlocked, but who and what she is remains a mystery. All she knows is that she must reach the Severed Tower, an infamous location in the middle of the world's most dangerous landscape: The Strange Lands, a place where the laws of physics have completely broken down. But the closer they get to the Tower, the more precarious things become. The Assembly has pursued Zoey into the Strange Lands. Among them is a new group, their walkers and machines strangely bereft of any color, stripped to bare metal, and whose agenda seems to differ from the rest. To make matters worse, the group hunting Holt are here, too, led by a dangerous and beautiful pirate named Ravan. So is Mira's first love, Benjamin Aubertine, whose singular ambition to reach the Tower threatens to get them all killed.

Then there's the Strange Lands themselves. They have inexplicably begun to grow, spreading outwards, becoming more powerful. Somehow, it all seems tied to Zoey herself, and the closer she gets to the Tower, the weaker she becomes.


Mira unslung her Lexicon and set it on the floor. She unlocked the big book with her necklace and ripped it open, flashlight in her mouth. She turned to the binder of Unstable Anomalies, flipping through them almost in a panic. Corkscrew. Corporeal Flux. Corporeal Ice. Dark Energy. Dark Matter Tornado. Dark— 

Dark Energy! She ripped open the section, studying it, fingers tracing the pages of notes and equations, and as she did everything she remembered about the Anomaly came back to her, and it was all very, very bad. “Oh, God…”

What?” Ravan demanded.  

Mira shut the Lexicon and slipped the strap over her head. “Turn off your light.” 

Ravan stared at her like she was insane. 

“Do it!” Mira told her sternly. “I’m going to turn mine off, too. For just a second. When I turn it back on, you do the same.”

“Why?” Ravan flipped off her light. The illumination diminished by half. 

“There’s something I need to see. Just pray I’m wrong.”

Mira took a deep breath -- and then flipped off her own light. Everything went completely, utterly dark.

And in that darkness, shapes were revealed.

Floating bubbles of blackness in all shapes and sizes, all throughout the air, bouncing in slow motion into each other. So dark they somehow stood out.

And other things. Worse things. Things roughly humanoid…but not.

Devoid of any features, with eyeless faces of smooth, oily darkness. Strange hands rose up, reaching for the girls with impossibly long fingers of putrid— 

Mira screamed. Both girls flipped their lights back on.

The hallway again. Dirty and crumbling, but empty. There was nothing there now.

“What the hell was that?!” Ravan shouted, aiming her rifle all around.

“We’re in trouble,” Mira said, icy terror beginning to form in her stomach.

About the Author
J. Barton Mitchell

J. Barton Mitchell is a creator and writer of speculative fiction, and the author of the science fiction YA novel series CONQUERED EARTH published by St. Martin’s Press. He has sold screenplays to Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox, and created the comic book series POE for ‘Boom! Studios’.

Or at least that’s what someone wants you to think…
The truth is, J. Barton Mitchell doesn’t exist. He’s a shadow persona created by another shadow persona dreamed up by an even more shadowy persona. Who is he really, you ask? A super villain named Dr. Sinister? Maybe. The world’s most daring thief, desperately trying to save the world from a hidden alien menace only he can see? Who’s to say? A master assassin trained by an ancient crime syndicate in Myanmar? We’ll never know. All we can know is that you take your life in your hands every time you look at this site. And that’s why you keep coming back…

Just one more page, you tell yourself. Just one more blog entry. And each click of that little wireless, bluetooth mouse of yours (that’s right, he even knows what kind of input device you use) is more exhilarating than the last.

Yeah. Now you see his master plan. Now he’s got you…
J. Barton Mitchell lives and writes somewhere in Los Angeles. Or…does he?

One (1) copy of The Midnight City and one (1) copy of The Severed Tower.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The 23 Days of Christmahanakwanzika


  1. I think you have the Rafflecopter for the wrong book on here - The title is correct, but the entries seem to be for a different book!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  2. I usually don't read excerpts, just simple descriptions - and sometimes not even all of that - I simply read enough to either see if I'm interested or not. I check out the opinions of others on my lists (some that I always seem to agree with; others whose opinions I check and with whom I very rarely agree). But I never read excerpts, even of books of which I am anticipating a this case, though, I did read them. I thought they were interesting enough to add the first book to my massive TBR list, but when I clicked over to Goodreads, I found I'd already selected this series for a read. Thank you for the opportunity to win them, so I can move them up on my list rather than waiting for the room in the budget that never seems to be enough...