January 11, 2021

#BookBlitz: Crowning Keys (The Markings #2) by Catherine Downen @YABoundToursPR

Crowning Keys 
(The Markings #2) 
Genre: Fantasy 
January 2021 


Adaline has reached Libertas, but it isn't the freedom she had imagined. A war is brewing between the gifted and the non-gifted, a line of separation that is slowly crumbling away.

Adaline and Alexander must learn how to use their gifts to fulfill the prophecy that declares them the saviors. But there is so much Adaline doesn't know about her past and her future. While she feels in control of her actions, she soon learns that she's at the will of another one of her father's plans.

In this thrilling and emotional novel, Adaline rises to her new titles: the Princess of Libertas and the Savior of The Gifted.

"Maybe it’s in our blood to be fighters, but maybe we’ve never known to be anything else."

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*All hardcover versions include 60+ pages of bonus content! 


Alexander gently nudges me off his shoulder and my eyes fall open. I must have dozed off. Darkness still blankets the outside world, so I couldn’t have been asleep for that long, but there’s a tight pain in my neck, which means I’ve been asleep for at least a couple of hours.

“I wanted to let you sleep, but you should probably get back soon,” Alexander says, his voice soft and hoarse.

I nod and stand, stretching out my stiff muscles.

“I’ll walk you back,” Alexander offers and I follow him out the front door.

My travel companions’ homes sit dark in a row. The only signs of life are the crunch of our footsteps. Up high above us, the sky rings out with a low, enormous grumble. I feel the first wet drop hit my forehead.

“Rain,” I say and laughter consumes me as the sky reels open and the sheets fall down on us. Immediately, I’m soaking wet, but it’s the most relieved and relaxed I’ve felt since we arrived in Libertas. Alexander and I take off running toward the castle, him avoiding the puddles and me running straight for them.

“You’re crazy,” Alexander yells over the pelting rain.

“I just know how to have fun,” I say, running past him with my arms spread wide. My wild laughter layers with the thunderous roar of the sky above.

“I love rain!” I scream to the world and splash into the nearest puddle. The sky echoes back to me and lets out another cry of thunder.

Alexander holds his hands above his head, as if that could keep him dry. I run back to him and pull his arms down to his side, forcing him to let the rain drench his blonde curls. He looks at me and a wide smile spreads, parting his lips.

Through the curtain of rain, my eyes trace his face. Wet droplets track down his cheeks, curling at the corners of his mouth.

In the bitter cold of the storm, warmth radiates from his body. Wrapping around me and crawling up my fingers that still tightly clasp his wrists.

The clouds let out another crack of thunder that mirrors my thumping heart. Alexander flinches at the sound, an excited laugh straining to be heard.

I look at Alexander, standing in the rain, laughing at me. My fingers slide down his wet wrist and I grab his hand, pulling him back into a run toward the castle. We take cover under my balcony, escaping the rain.

I turn back to Alexander, breathing deep through my wide grin. He is drenched, his hair dripping little droplets on his soft, pink cheeks.

“Do you want to come in and dry off?” I ask, gesturing up to my room.

“No, I should go back,” he says, and his voice holds a little bit of disappointment.

My green eyes search his as I take in this moment. Him and I. No training or threat of death. Stupidly soaking wet. The moonlight illuminating his damp features perfectly. He takes my hand in his and gives it a light squeeze, causing butterflies to explode in my stomach. 

“I’ll see you tomorrow,” he whispers.

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