Blog Tour + Giveaway: Guest post by Claire Legrand

25 September, 2014 Blog Tours, Giveaways 45 comments

Blog Tour + Giveaway: Guest post by Claire Legrand

Hi everyone! How’s your day? Mine is quite fantastic as we have Claire Legrand here to share an excerpt from her upcoming YA, Winterspell. I don’t know about you but I am super excited about this book. Inspired by The Nutcracker (a childhood super-fav), it’s been described as a “dark, timeless fairy tale” and I don’t really need to go on because I’m already so sold, I’ve been brought home, taken out of the packaging and shelved for perpetual display (this metaphor may have run away from me a bit).

Anyhoo, enough from me, I’ll leave Claire to seduce you with her words (I mean that literally, deliciously sexy USTing ahead).

Hi Cuddlebuggery—and Cuddlebuggery readers!

Thanks so much to Steph, Kat, and Meg for hosting me here on their fantastic blog today as part of the Winterspell blog tour. This is one of my absolute favorite book blogs, so I’m always honored when they agree to let me stop by!

Today I’m going to share with you a brief excerpt from Part Two of Winterspell. I tried to selecta passage that includes some swoony bits. Because who doesn’t love swoony bits? And I guess my mind is in the gutter or something because “bits” is starting to sound rather naughty.

Anyway, to set the scene a little, er, bit (hee): Clara, our protagonist, has just awoken from a disturbing dream in which lots of frightening abstract images and sensations left her feeling like this:

“She had no choice but to heave and twist and sob herself hoarse as her insides crackled with searing cold and the taste of silver burned her tongue.”

Yeesh. And ouch.

So she wakes up to the prince Nicholas, whom she helped free from a curse (no spoilers; that’s on the book jacket), hovering over her. He’s concerned about her screaming and tries to calm her. Then they start talking about their odd history, and things get a little . . . tense.


“What?” Nicholas’s voice was low, curious. He touched her cheek. “What did you dream? Something about your blood?”

“It had turned cold.”

“Cold? An odd thing to dream. Did it hurt?”

Clara turned her head, pulling away from his touch. His fingers were feather-light against

her face, and the feeling unnerved her. “Did you really watch me from inside the statue? All my life?”

For a moment Nicholas didn’t say anything. Then he moved to sit on the edge of the bed, and she relaxed.

“I did. Well, for most of it, anyway.” He tilted his head, not quite smiling. “Does that make me sick, do you think? Spying on a little girl?”

She should sit up, move away from him—something—but she couldn’t. Her leg was touching his, and it was comforting. If she closed her eyes, she could almost transport herself back to the shop, to that safe, shadowed corner.

“Perhaps a bit,” she admitted.

“But then again it’s not as though I could help it. And I thought nothing untoward, at first. You were this awkward, amusing thing. You made me forget myself every once in a while.

It wasn’t until you were much older that I started to want . . .”

Now it was he who couldn’t finish. Clara felt embarrassed for him, and for herself, and unspeakably attuned to him. She sat up and covered his hand with one of hers. He turned to her, his eyes searching her face, and the space between them grew charged with . . . curiosity, perhaps. Nervousness.

Wanting. The desire for comfort, for closeness and discovery, but, oh, what was this unbearable tightness in her belly? Fear, maybe. No one had ever been so close to her, not in this charged, careful way. Clara had, in fact, done her best to avoid such a thing. But Nicholas’s eyes had the same familiar shape as the statue’s had, and she could not avoid their pull.

She wanted to move closer to them, to him.

She did move closer, a mere shift of weight. But it was enough.

His gaze fell to her lips.

The door opened.


AGH. Door-opener, whoever you are, thanks for ruining the moment!

But don’t worry, Clara and Nicholas get a lot more time together in the book—which I hope you enjoy reading!

Thanks again for letting me stop by your lovely blog, ladies! And readers, thanks for visiting, too! Don’t forget to enter the giveaway below, and I hope you enjoyed reading this excerpt!

– Claire


About Claire Legrand

Claire Legrand used to be a musician until she realized she couldn't stop thinking about the stories in her head. Now a writer, Ms. Legrand can often be found typing with purpose at her keyboard, losing herself in the stacks at her local library, or embarking upon spontaneous adventures to lands unknown. Her first novel is THE CAVENDISH HOME FOR BOYS AND GIRLS, a New York Public Library Best Book for Children in 2012. Her second novel, THE YEAR OF SHADOWS, releases August 27, 2013, with her third novel, WINTERSPELL, to follow in fall 2014. She is one of the four authors behind THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES, an anthology of dark middle grade fiction due out in July 2014 from Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins. Claire lives in New Jersey with a dragon and two cats. Visit her at and at


Winterspell by Claire LegrandWinterspell (Winterspell #1) by Claire Legrand
Published: September 30th 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Goodreads | B&N | Amazon

The clock chimes midnight, a curse breaks, and a girl meets a prince . . . but what follows is not all sweetness and sugarplums.

New York City, 1899. Clara Stole, the mayor’s ever-proper daughter, leads a double life. Since her mother’s murder, she has secretly trained in self-defense with the mysterious Drosselmeyer.

Then, on Christmas Eve, disaster strikes.

Her home is destroyed, her father abducted–by beings distinctly not human. To find him, Clara journeys to the war-ravaged land of Cane. Her only companion is the dethroned prince Nicholas, bound by a wicked curse. If they’re to survive, Clara has no choice but to trust him, but his haunted eyes burn with secrets–and a need she can’t define. With the dangerous, seductive faery queen Anise hunting them, Clara soon realizes she won’t leave Cane unscathed–if she leaves at all.

Inspired by The Nutcracker, Winterspell is a dark, timeless fairy tale about love and war, longing and loneliness, and a girl who must learn to live without fear.


Make sure you stop by the other stops on the WinterspellI blog tour.

Week One:
9/22/2014- Alice Marvels– Review
9/23/2014- The Midnight Garden– Guest Post
9/24/2014- Magical Urban Fantasy Reads– Interview Author or Character
9/25/2014- Cuddlebuggery- Guest Post
9/26/2014- Fiktshun– Guest Post

Week Two:
9/29/2014- Novel Sounds– Guest Post
9/30/2014- Parajunkee– Interview Author or Character
10/1/2014- Takes of the Ravenous Reader– Interview Author or Character
10/2/2014- Two Chicks on Books– Guest Post
10/3/2014- Dark Faerie Tales– Review


Giveaway time! We have ten prize packs up for grabs. These fabulous prize packs include a finished copy of Winterspell + swag (bookmark, bookplate, character postcards) + map of Cane + Winterspell-themed jewelry.

Fill out the rafflecopter below and good luck!

Contest Rules

  • To enter, please fill out the Raffelcopter form below.
  • We ask that all entrants be at least 13 years or older to enter.
  • The giveaway is open US Only.
  • When the winners are chosen, it will be announced here and the winners will be emailed.
  • Please enter your email address in the Rafflecopter form and not the comments.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Meg Morley

Meg Morley

Co-bloggery at Cuddlebuggery
Meg is an all-around book nerd who just really wants to talk about books, preferably with other people but by herself will do. Find her on Goodreads.

45 Responses to “Blog Tour + Giveaway: Guest post by Claire Legrand”

  1. Heidi D

    Winterspell is already on my TBR. I’m really looking forward to it. It has such a pretty cover, too. Awesome giveaway. Thanks for the opportunity!

  2. Carl

    It’s so great to see a new book from Claire Legrand. Thanks very much for the excerpt, I think it has whet our appetites sufficiently.

  3. Beth W

    I’m such a huge fan of this concept- I can’t wait to read Winterspell! There are so many excellent stories out there currently in ballet or symphony format, that could use a modern re-telling. 😀
    Beth W recently posted…Nail Files: First, FallMy Profile

  4. Pop

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  5. Denita

    I saw this beautiful cover and fell in love with this book. So it has been on my tbr list for a while.

  6. Kierra

    I am SUPERRR. Excited about this book. I love retellings, and this one is no exception! Plus, I’ve never read a retelling of the nutcracker, and Claire sounds like such an amazing author(from what I’ve heard from others)! And that scene “waves hands in front of face”

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