Crimson Bound Blog Tour Featuring Flash Fiction by Rosamund Hodge

Welcome to my stop on the Crimson Bound Blog Tour, hosted by The Midnight Garden.

If you missed my review of Crimson Bound -- spoiler: I loved it! -- you can read it here.

Synopsis: When Rachelle was fifteen she was good -- apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat.Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night? Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption.

This is a standalone novel, not part of the Cruel Beauty Universe.

Crimson Bound will be available in stores and online on May 5, 2015 in hardback, as well as on audiobook. Add it to your GoodReads shelf here!

I am extremely excited to present an original piece of flash fiction written by Rosamund Hodge. There will be a total of three original stories as part of the tour, so please check out the other tour stops below for more flash fiction, plus guest posts, and interview and more!

Three Girls Who Met a Forestborn: The Sister
by Rosamund Hodge

In the world of Crimson Bound, there is a legend that once upon a time, there was no sun and no moon. The whole world was covered in the magical Great Forest, and humans were ruled by the heartless forestborn--until the twins Tyr and Zisa defeated the Devourer, the dark god of the forestborn, and stole the sun and moon from out of his stomach.

The legend is true.  And this is a story that Tyr and Zisa might have heard as children, when there was no light in the world but starlight, and no hope at all.

In the darkest shadows of the forest stands a house. It is carved of wood most skillfully; from every post and lintel leap a profusion of leaves, flowers, wolves, birds, and little writhing men. And mouths. And teeth.

The walls are caulked with blood. The roof is thatched with bones.

Very few mortals have ever seen it. But two children of our tribe did once; and this is the way it happened.

Many years ago, there was a little girl and a little boy. Their mother was dead--the forestborn had hunted her for sport--and their father loved them more than his own breath. And that was a very great problem, for he was leader of their tribe. It was his part, when the forestborn came, to speak with them and offer them whatever they wished.

But when the forestborn wished to take his children and hunt them as well--

He promised the forestborn that he would lead them to the place where the hunt would start. But he took them in the other direction, and told them that they must run from him and never return.

The girl and the boy ran, and then they walked, and then they limped, but they never stopped. Until at last they came to a place in the Forest where the trees wove together so thickly that not a single star shone through.

Before them lay the house. It was just as terrible as I have told you, but light gleamed in the windows, and they were starving. So they went in.

Sitting before the fireplace was a slender lady as white as bone, with dark hair so long it pooled about her feet. This was Old Mother Hunger, the first and most terrible of all the forestborn, who had danced before the Devourer and made him want her as a child.

She smiled at them--her mouth was very red, except for her white, white teeth--and said,  "What do you want, little children?"

They knew she was a forestborn, but they were so desperate, they hardly cared. "Please," said the boy, "we are dying for want of food."

"Please," said the girl. "We will serve you in return."

"Oh," said Old Mother Hunger, "I shall make you a feast."

She spread her table full of food, and the children devoured it. But when they had eaten their fill, they grew sleepy. The next moment, they were waking, and they were in cages.

"I have decided," said Old Mother Hunger, "that I shall give you both a chance. Whoever agrees to kill the other first shall be my child and live forever."

"Never," said the boy.

"I would rather die," said the girl.

And so they both said for a long time as they sat in their cages. Old Mother Hunger gave them water to drink, but not a crumb of food.

"Please," said the girl at last, "let me work for food. I will do anything but kill him."

Old Mother Hunger looked in her eyes and said, "Very well."

So the girl scrubbed floors and washed dishes and did every loathsome task that Old Mother Hunger could devise. Her brother grew fat in his cage, for he never had to lift a finger, and somehow his meals were always larger; while the girl grew gaunt with hunger and weariness, for she could barely stop working long enough to sleep. But every time that Old Mother Hunger gave them their meals, they wove their fingers together through the bars of the cage and whispered that they loved each other.

At last Old Mother Hunger said to the girl, "I have lost a needle. Will you find it for me?"

"Of course," said the girl.

Old Mother Hunger took her to a room where not only every wall but all the ceiling and floor was covered in cupboard doors.

"I dropped it through one of these doors," she said, and left the girl to search.

The girl opened the closest door. All she saw was darkness, utter darkness.

More than darkness.

You have heard of the Devourer, the god of the forestborn. Some say he looks like a great black wolf. Some say he looks like a starving man, with flowers on his head and ribs poking through his skin.

I have never seen him myself, but I tell you this: as the girl opened door after door and saw yawning darkness after yawning dark, she came to understand that this darkness was the Devourer. It was his eyes. His mouth. His face.

And he looked at her.

He looked.

She wept and sobbed as she opened door after door. She forgot why she was opening them. She opened them still. And she came to know what we all know, however we try not to say it: this world is made of hunger. The Devourer is hunger himself, and we are little different, because we all want to live.

The girl no longer wept. When Old Mother Hunger returned, she sat straight and proud as she said, "Mother, I found it not. But if you wish, I will be your needle."

So Old Mother Hunger smiled, and put the mark of the forestborn upon her, and gave her a knife.

Her brother wept when she came to him. He did not weep for long. His blood was bright, bright red.

His sister wept, but not for long. She was lovely, as she changed into a forestborn.

And this, my children, was the birth of the forestborn lady who comes to our tribe and chooses the tribute. She told us this tale, and she commanded us to tell it to every child we raise. Because you must learn, my dear little children, how foolish it is to disobey your master. For the forestborn serve the Devourer, and he lives at the bottom of your heart. However much you love, however fierce your courage, in the end you will obey him. 

This is the way of the world. And we shall never know anything else.

About the author: Rosamund Hodge loves mythology, Hello Kitty, and T. S. Eliot. She writes YA fantasy that draws on two of those things. In her wild youth, she studied Medieval English at Oxford; she now lives in Seattle and writes wildly.

Visit Rosamund Hodge on the web: 

Follow her on Twitter: @rosamundhodge

Follow the Crimson Bound Tour: April 20-May 1, 2015 

Monday, 4/20              The Midnight Garden         Fairy Tale Inspiration: Little Red Riding Hood & The Girl with No Hands
Tuesday, 4/21                Mundie Moms                    Cosmetics for Badasses
Wednesday, 4/22        Two Chicks on Books        Audiobook Clip + Interview
Thursday, 4/23            YA Romantics                    Flash Fiction #1
Friday, 4/24                 Cuddlebuggery                  The Obligatory Strong Heroine Post
Monday, 4/27              YA Midnight Reads            Writing a Bad Girl/Good Boy Romance
Tuesday, 4/28             Alice Marvels                      Flash Fiction #2   
Wednesday, 4/29        The Daily Prophecy            Interview
Thursday, 4/30            The Social Potato               Death Before Dishonor
Friday, 5/1                   The Starry-Eyed Revue      Flash Fiction #3

Enter to win! Thanks to Harper Teen, we're giving away two prizes! The first prize is a bundle of Rosamund Hodge books, including hardback copies of CRIMSON BOUND and CRUEL BEAUTY, and the second prize is a giveaway for the fantastic audiobook narrated by Elizabeth Knowelden. Let us know in the comments which of the two you'd prefer, or if you're open to either one.

Open to U.S. and Canadian residents, see entry form for complete details.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Oh wow!! What a wonderful and dark legend! It's amazing when an author creates such a full world for one book!
    I'm even more excited now to read Crimson Bound!

  2. Great books and excerpt! Never heard of the series, but I'm excited to check it out

    Happy Reading
    Patrick @ The Bookshelves

    1. The author's two books are standalones, though the flash fiction is from the same story world as Crimson Bound.

  3. I've been wanting to read this series for a while - It sounds really good. These books sound right up my alley. Great post!

    1. Not a series, but these books do have a similar dark fairy tale feel. Hope you enjoy!

  4. Ooooh...sounds fantastic! The cover is awesome!

  5. This is exactly the kind of dark I like - lyrical, vivid, haunting. I cannot wait to read this! Thanks, Jen :)

    1. Hope you enjoy it -- I just love her writing!

  6. Yowza, this was epic! And ties in so perfectly with the book. Beautiful and chilling!

    1. Right? I was so excited when I read this piece...

  7. I still haven't read any book by Rosamund Hodge but I loved this piece and i know so many people love her books as well. I'm going to have to pick up the first book at the library this weekend! Thanks for sharing Jen :)

    1. Definitely try the first book. I liked it a lot!

  8. Thanks for the giveaway! I love the Flash Fiction; I love little side stories like that. :)

    1. I do too - not always such a fan of novellas but I really enjoyed this!

  9. Wow that was really dark! So scary but fascinating :)

    1. This story world definitely seemed darker to me than that of Cruel Beauty!

  10. Whoa! This reminds me of that story I don't know the name of! It's sad though :( I hope someone will overcome the Devourer

  11. I REALLY REALLY want to read this book. I actually have it on preorder, even though I had the eARC I waited to read it because I regretted not buying Cruel Beauty after reading the eARC it is so hard to buy the book if you like it that much lol. So I am really excited for it to be released! I loved Cruel Beauty so much and I don't know how they relate (they're different, I know, but the covers are so similar..) I wonder if there is any similarities in the world or anything. :)

    Thanks Jen this is a great tour <3

  12. I loved Cruel Beauty so I can't wait to read this! I would love to win hardcopies of the books :D

    1. Wow...just wow. Its in a fairy tale tone but grim and creepy in a good way. I loved it. She is my favorite author now :D

  13. Holy shit, I just read all of that and shivers went up my spine. It was so short, but good god, her words really puncture you in the gut where it hurt. I feel so sad that in the end that was what happened to the two children, but nevertheless, I adore how dark and spine-tingling it was.

    Faye at The Social Potato

  14. Wow, this was fun to read. So creepy, but so original! Making me more excited for the book!

  15. This post was fun to read. It seems like an edge of your seat sort of book.

  16. Wow, I love how dark this novel sounds.. it takes fairytale retelling to a whole different level. Cannot wait for Crimson Bound to come out soon, I loved Cruel Beauty as well. <3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

  17. Wow, I love how dark this novel sounds.. it takes fairytale retelling to a whole different level. Cannot wait for Crimson Bound to come out soon, I loved Cruel Beauty as well. <3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

  18. I am so excited for this!! :D I loved the Sister story!
    Mary Loki

  19. I really enjoyed this flash fiction, lyrical and well written. It makes me want to get a hold of these 2 books even more!

  20. This is very cool, love the flash fiction. The Crimson Bound universe is so unique!


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