Excerpt from The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Have you picked up my latest release yet? Santa Shortbread is out just in time for Christmas in July! If you like to beat the heat by reading Christmas stories, this is your chance. Later this week, I’ll have a blog post with a bunch of other Christmas reads for your summer reading pleasure as well.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme. Read the rules and more teasers at The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along.

I just recently started reading The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins. It is a prequel to the Hunger Games series. I was afraid when looking for the publication date today that it came out years ago and I just never knew about it, but it was just released this year, so I’m not as out of touch as I feared.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes goes back to when President Snow was a boy, assigned to be a mentor to one of the tributes. While he was born into a high-ranking family, they were devastated by the war, and while Panem is being rebuilt, it is still a struggle for them to get enough to eat from day to day. He tries to keep their dire circumstances as secret and his ability to get into university on a scholarship prize hinges on his performance as a mentor.

So this is “the other side of the story.” You get to see Coriolanus Snow from a completely different perspective and to see what happened to make him the person he is in the Hunger Games trilogy.

Nothing you can take from me was ever worth keeping.

― Suzanne Collins, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.

The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined – every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute . . . and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.

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