A Fairy Tale that Rings True: Guest post with Jennifer Youngblood Author of Banished

YAPC would like to welcome Jennifer Youngblood to the blog today. She is here to share a guest post with us and share an excerpt and some info about her book Banished. If this looks like something you want to read, please go get a copy!

A Fairy Tale that Rings True

I have always been enamored with fairy tales. There’s something magical about having all of the pieces fall into place at the precise moment of True Love’s Kiss. But real life rarely works out that way. I wanted to write something that would have the magical feel of a fairy tale, but I wanted it to be real—so rich and vivid that you could almost make yourself believe that it was really happening.

Every time I read the traditional Cinderella story, I find myself asking: What would happen if Cinderella didn’t fall in love with the prince? What if she fell in love with someone else? What if she loved him to the depth of her being? Would she have the courage to fight for that love, or would the pressure to marry the prince win out in the end?

I began to feel a kinship with Cinderella. I began to think her thoughts and feel her pain. That’s when I knew a great story was begging to be told. It’s that feeling of wanting something so badly, but you know you can’t have it. You think about it day and night—long for it, but everyone tells you that it’s beyond your reach.

That’s precisely how Elle Worthington feels. A silly accident puts her into a coma, and she wakes up in a hospital with no memory of who she is. She goes home to a stepmother who loathes her, a stepsister who resents her, and a workaholic father who’s rarely ever home.

She soon discovers that before the accident, she was dating Edward Kingsley, the golden-boy quarterback who’s madly in love with her. Everyone tells her how lucky she is to be with Edward, but for some strange reason, Elle is instead drawn to Rush Porter, her next-door neighbor—a brooding, reckless newcomer who’s too good looking for his own good! From the moment she sees him, he captures her attention and haunts her dreams, and he seems to know an awful lot about her.

The harder Elle fights to rid herself of the feelings she has for Rush, the stronger those feelings grow. It’s like she can’t help herself; she’s inexplicably drawn to him, and the pull is so strong that she can hardly resist it.

When Elle goes to work for her eccentric aunt Adele who owns a chocolate shop, she begins to get a glimpse of another life—a magical life in which she was a simple peasant girl whose life changed forever the day she caught the eye of the prince. A girl who might have lived happily ever after had her heart not had other ideas. She becomes trapped between loyalty and duty—betrayal and love, and a forbidden attraction so strong that it has the power to destroy her.

All is not as it seems on the surface. Dark forces are watching and waiting to claim what they deem to be theirs, and the fate of a kingdom rests in the hands of a girl who cannot remember who she is or where she came from.

Older teens and adults will love this sophisticated retelling of The Cinderella Story with a modern-day twist.

Here’s an excerpt of Banished. In this excerpt, Elle is furious because her manipulative stepmother, Sera, forces her to stay home and do chores around the house while her stepsister, Josselyn, gets to go shopping.

Excerpt:

“Stupid flowers! Stupid yard!” Elle plunged the spade into the earth, attacking the dead flowers and yanking them out. It felt good to vent her frustration, even if it was only at the beds. The more she thought about Sera and Josselyn, the madder she got. How could her father possibly be happy with that insufferable woman? Being around Sera made her wonder what her own mother had been like. Not like that horrible woman … she hoped. After she’d cleaned the bathrooms and mopped, she called her father, but he didn’t answer, so, she left him a voice message, asking him what time his flight was getting in. Being left alone with the likes of Sera and Josselyn was a miserable experience. Josselyn kept talking about how horrible Elle had been, but seeing as how she’d just told a bold-faced lie, it was evident that she couldn’t be believed or trusted. Then another thought entered her head. A terrible thought that caused her heart to pound. A wave of dizziness enveloped her. Was it possible she was remembering things incorrectly? She swallowed hard, ignoring the way her palms had become sweaty against the spade. Mentally, she ran through the events of the past two days. She distinctly remembered doing those chores. She clutched the spade and thrust it viciously into the dirt. Again and again she attacked the dirt. I’m not crazy! I’m not crazy! She repeated the words over and over again in her mind, willing herself to go through the sequence of events from the past couple of days until her head ached.

She was finishing up the second flowerbed when she felt the sensation of being watched. She turned toward the house next door and saw a guy standing on the front porch, leaning against the column. Her eyes met his, and she could tell from his expression that she was supposed to know him. The fact that he was very handsome didn’t help matters. He was tall and lean with black wavy hair and eyes so intense that she could feel the heat of them from across the yard. Her heart began to pound. She couldn’t face trying to make polite conversation with him—not when her head felt like it was about to explode. She looked away, but she could still feel him standing there, staring at her. What? she wanted to scream. She looked at him again through narrowed eyes. This time, there was a trace of amusement on his face. She glared at him and was startled to see him chuckle. An unreasonable anger surged through her. She threw down the spade and stood, her feet squared. “What do you want?”

He raised an eyebrow. “Do you really have to ask … Elle?”

The way he spoke her name was almost a caress. The distance between them seemed to shrink, and she became aware of the way his shirt fell along his muscular chest, the strong curve of his jaw, the way his blue eyes sparked when he gave her the slightest hint of a smile. Confusion clouded over her. These feelings. Where were they coming from? She lifted her chin. “I don’t remember you,” she said with more certainty than she felt.

“Well, that’s mighty convenient.”

“What’re you talking about?”

He flashed a smile that disappeared as quickly as it had come. “I’m talking about this supposed memory loss thing, I’m just not buying it, that’s all.”

She clenched her fists to her side. “How dare you insinuate that I would pretend to lose …” She shook her head. “Forget it!” She started running up the front steps to her house.

“You know me, Elle,” he yelled after her. “You know me!” she heard him say again as she went inside, slamming the door behind her. For good measure, she turned and locked it.

She ran her hands through her hair and leaned against the door. He was right. She did know him. Her heated reaction to him had come from some deep basic part of her—some primal part that she could never let out. She shuddered. Where were these thoughts coming from? She shook her head. Some primal part that she could never let out? She really was losing it. He was some random guy—a neighbor that enjoyed getting under her skin. That was all. Even as she thought the words, she somehow knew that he was more. An image of him, leaning against the column flashed through her mind. That knowing look in his eyes. That cocky attitude. She shut her eyes, willing the image to disappear. She may’ve lost her memory, but there was something about him that scared her—scared her to the core. And somehow, in a way she couldn’t understand, she knew that she must stay away from him. She went to her room and threw herself down on the bed. A nap was what she needed— a nice long nap. Everything would look better when she woke up. She closed her eyes and drifted off. It was in that moment, right before sleep overtook her, that she remembered his name—Rushton. His name was Rushton.

Book Description:

BanishedA sophisticated retelling of The Cinderella Story with a modern-day twist that older teens and adults will love.

A silly accident puts Elle Worthington into a coma, and when she awakes, she can’t remember her name or anything about her life. She leaves the hospital and returns to a home that’s anything but ideal—her stepmother loathes her, her stepsister resents her, and her father’s a workaholic who’s rarely ever home.

She soon discovers that she is the head cheerleader and is dating Edward Kingsley, the golden-boy quarterback who’s madly in love with her. Everyone tells her how lucky she is to be with Edward, but for some strange reason, Elle is instead drawn to Rush Porter, her next-door neighbor—a brooding, reckless newcomer who’s too good looking for his own good! From the moment she sees him, he captures her attention and haunts her dreams, and he seems to know an awful lot about her.

When Elle goes to work for her eccentric aunt Adele who owns a chocolate shop, she begins to get a glimpse of another life—a magical life in which she was a simple peasant girl whose life changed forever the day she caught the eye of the prince. A girl who might have lived happily ever after had her heart not had other ideas. She becomes trapped between loyalty and duty—betrayal and love, and a forbidden attraction so strong that it has the power to destroy her.

All is not as it seems on the surface. Dark forces are watching and waiting to claim what they deem to be theirs, and the fate of a kingdom rests in the hands of a girl who cannot remember who she is or where she came from.

Buy Bansished:

Amazon

About the Authors: Sandra and Jennifer are mother and daughter and love being able to writeJennifer Youngblood and Sandra Poole together. To date, they have written seven novels and one children’s book.

Jennifer’s love for writing began as a teenager when she wrote stories for her high school English teacher to critique. She has always loved fairy tales and thoroughly enjoyed crafting a Cinderella Story where the characters were complex and true-to-life. Jennifer has a B.A. in English and Social Sciences from Brigham Young University where she served as Miss BYU Hawaii. She loves, jogging, cooking, dancing, and chocolate.

Sandra has a Masters in Business Administration and worked in the administrative field for many years. For her, writing is a continual journey of discovery. She has so many ideas for other books running through her mind that it’s hard to focus on one at a time. She enjoys spending time with family, being outdoors, and painting.

Both Jennifer and Sandra live in the Rocky Mountains.

Connect with Jennifer and Sandra:

Website * Twitter * Facebook * Pinterest * Goodreads

Interview with S.J. Saunders and Book Promo Feature–Taovan: Awaken

YAPC would like to welcome S.J. Saunders to the blog today. He is here to interview with us and share some info and an excerpt about his book Taovan: Awaken. If this looks like something you would like to read please go pick up a copy!

YAPC: Try to describe your book in one sentence.

S.J.: A fantasy/sci-fi Joseph Campbell-esque heroic epic with a touch of satire. 

YAPC: If you wouldn’t be a writer, what you would be?

S.J.: Well, I’m fairly tall, and all of the aptitude tests I’ve taken have indicated that I should either be a writer or a cop…so a cop, I guess…maybe?

YAPC: How long have you been writing?

S.J.: I started my first stories when I was probably around five years old.  I’d recently tackled chapter books, and I was eager to try my hand at the whole thing.  My siblings were quite supportive in helping me bring all of these things to life, helping me with finer story points and world-building.  I remember crime-solving tigers, inexplicably strong toddlers who escape to a land invisible to grown-ups, and a certain Valiant Prince who was quite adept slaying monsters and rescuing damsels in distress…when they saw fit to allow it.

YAPC: Do you listen to music while writing?

S.J.: Not usually during, but there have been many times when I need to be in a certain mindset for constructing a scene, and a particular kind of music has helped to put me there.  For example, I typically use a heavy symphonic sound to prepare for an intense action piece or a poignant moment. 

YAPC: Do you see yourself in any of your characters?

S.J.: All of them.  It can be a bit terrifying.

YAPC: Are you a plotter or a pantzer?

S.J.: Bit of both.  I typically have the main story planned out in my head with some notes at the end of the manuscript to keep me focused, but there have been numerous times when a particular scene veers completely off-course, sometimes drastically shifting the narrative.  It can be frustrating, but also kind of exhilarating.  My characters are driving things forward, and to force what I already had in mind would be unfaithful to the needs of the story. 

YAPC: How did you come up with your premise for your books?

S.J.: Daydreaming, research, finding the essence of enjoyment behind stories I love, random conversations, stray bolts of thought that made me go, “Hmm…” 

YAPC: What book is currently on your nightstand?

S.J.: At this moment, it’s A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs.  If you have the patience for the more prose-laden classics, I highly recommend it. 

YAPC: Where can readers find your books?

S.J.: They can find me on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, GooglePlay… 

YAPC: If you could visit any place in the world or a place created by a book, where would you visit?

S.J.: If we’re going from a book, probably Narnia.  There’s such an indomitable sense of hope in that series that would probably make it the best option…so long as you don’t land in a Hundred Year Winter or a Telmarine occupation. 

YAPC: What projects are you currently working on right now? Would you mind sharing them with us?

S.J.: I’m currently working on young adult series that’s a kind of futuristic Bourne Identity with a female protagonist.  The first in the series should be popping up soon…

 

Content Warning: Some Violence

Book Description:

Taovan: AwakenIn the heart of a forgotten continent, a spark ignites in the strangest of places…

Nadon-Kesh grows up like any other child abandoned to the Saget riverbank, but his life takes a dangerous turn when the Supremacy, the tyrannical force enslaving the realm, drives him from his home. Thrust into the dangerous world beyond the riverbank alongside his closest friends, Nadon learns of his place in an age-old conflict that may change the face of the land forever.

Ensnared in the battle to reclaim a kingdom, Nadon struggles to harness a rising power within in the hope of saving his family from destruction. But, as his dark legacy threatens to destroy the land itself, Nadon discovers that it may not always be possible to escape one’s fate.

Buy Taovan: Awaken:

Paperback * Kindle * B&N * iTunes * Kobo * Google Play

Excerpt:

The darkness was so pure that it was almost numbing. From the blackest heart of it, the youth felt a coarse hand seize his battered arm, causing the welts scattered across the limb to throb and fester all the more. His mind was a haze of disbelief, and his body barely registered its injuries as he and his captor descended the crumbling steps of the Norion prison. His only response was an occasional spasm of shock. This, coupled with the moist, treacherous moss that layered the staircase beneath his grimy, bare feet, nearly caused him to slip downward into darkness.
“Watch it, you little oaf!” the trailing prison warden berated as he hauled the youth back to his feet, bludgeoning his captive’s bowed head with the butt of a frayed, bloodied whip. “You almost made us both fall!”

What a tragedy that would have been, the youth thought bitterly, letting the new wave of throbbing consume his foggy brain. It would have ended your thriving career. Aloud, he said nothing. The fresh blow barely processed in his muddled thoughts, but self-preservation screamed within him at the thought of another lashing. Not that it would have made any difference to his appearance. The bloody tangle of knots that was his hair hung scraggily over his ears, caked with the muck of a hundred, rain-drenched miles and causing the once-copper strands to cling to his scalp like a crown of filth.

And the rest of him wasn’t faring much better. Spreading bruises could be seen through his tattered tunic, and rusted shackles bound his hands and feet, irritating his wrists and emitting muffled clanks with every downward step.

His stride bore a blatant limp, completing the image of one who had been in a lopsided skirmish. He had obviously not been the victor.

Still he was forced deeper into the murky underworld of the dungeon.

The prison warden, shuffling heavily behind the youth, was a short man, but not a small one. He sported the greying remnants of a once-full head of hair and a beard worn in unsightly patches. Though his teeth were all present, they were decayed and yellowish-brown in color, causing thoughts of mildew to spring to the youth’s mind whenever he saw the warden smile. A shoddy jerkin that sported a dented, unpolished sergeant’s medal draped over the warden’s tunic, and his hairy toes peaked out from a pair of travel-worn sandals—the youth’s sandals.

On unsteady, burgled-bare feet, the youth continued down the spiral staircase. The leeching chill of the stone steps seeped into his unprotected soles whenever they connected, causing a sporadic shudder each time. The cold was a parasite, and its host was nearly spent.

This has to be the lowest point of my life, the youth thought with surprising detachment.

Soon, a gaping, dank hallway opened up before them at the end of the staircase. Tucking his whip into a threadbare belt, the warden retrieved an unlit lamp from the dungeon wall, quickly igniting it with a flash of match-powder. The youth blinked his dilated, hazel eyes and tried to shield his face from the sudden flash of light.

A derisive rasp slithered from the warden’s sneer. “Enjoy the light while you can, lad. You won’t be seeing much of it from now on. Now get!” His last order was emphasized by a shove to his captive’s hunched back, nearly causing the youth to stumble to the floor’s putrid carpet of muck. This elicited another pitiless cackle.

Too exhausted to feel anger, the youth resumed shuffling the claustrophobic hallway. With nothing else to occupy his cluttered mind—nothing on which he wished to dwell, anyway—he began counting the wooden doors that danced in the flame of the warden’s torch as they passed. They were decidedly dismal. Only the tiniest of eye-level windows and the food portals inset below the bottom hinge gave any indication that guards and prisoners might communicate at all.

One…two…three…fo

“Whoops,” the warden yanked back on the youth’s chains, obviously savoring the sharp gasp of pain he received in response. “This is it!”

The youth’s captor unlatched the third door and swung it open on screaming hinges. Inside, the cell was encased in walls of unyielding rock and mortar, with only the dim light from a single, centered window to kindle the room’s interior. It was a specter of the outside world’s dusk. For a moment, the youth felt like snorting in amusement; his seemingly endless descent into darkness moments earlier had been only one story. Everything is relative.

With the flame of the warden’s torch fraying at his blood-smeared vision, his eyes were once again unaccustomed to the darkness, making it next to impossible to see anything within his new home. Then he let himself focus.

There wasn’t much to see. No furniture rested on the stony floor, and the only item in the entire room was the chamber pot, sitting with obscure ostentation in the dusty shaft of light.

“Here you are!” the prisoner’s tormentor assured. “Nice and comfortable!”

The youth found himself inclined to disagree as he was thrust, headfirst, into the cell, his face narrowly missing the filthy chamber pot as he collided with a thud against the floor. Laughing again, the warden moved to unshackle his prone prisoner, careful to inflict maximum discomfort while doing so.

Then the human monster departed, the cackling of his twisted satisfaction abusing the ears of anyone in earshot.

Content to lie where he had fallen for the moment, the youth reveled in the warden’s absence. There was, after all, no reason to rush to his feet. But, at last, he hoisted himself into a roughly sitting position, feeling every blow, slice, and lash he had suffered in the past few hours with renewed intensity.

All except one.

Everything was still a blur, and he couldn’t be certain. But he could have sworn that, in that impenetrable haze of memories that was his arrest, he had…died.

All he had was an image; a perfect mental picture of someone plunging a sword into his gut. Then came the raw, disbelieving ache as he’d looked down to see only the blade’s hilt protruding from his abdomen. A fall into blackness.

And then he’d awoken, thrust into a hasty trial and a life in chains.

He shook his head. It must have all been some sort of Supremacist trick; some illusion designed to take the fight out of captives.

His hand went to his stomach, where he could even now feel the smooth, unblemished skin of the site where his mind told him he’d been stabbed. The fabric of his tunic was even torn in the right place, and blood lined the frayed threads, sticking to his skin.

But there was no trace of an injury.

He felt a sudden impulse to spit. Some sick Supremacist trick.

Despite his disgust, however, the youth decided to conserve his water, swallowing his blood-slick saliva instead of spewing it on the floor.

As he massaged his forearms to return the circulation, he was careful not to touch his seeping wrists, no matter how much his brain yelled at him to relieve the intolerable itching. Of course, the returning blood flow only served to make his wounds ooze away his life all the more.

The youth stood slowly and sighed in defeat. Still slightly above average height while slouching, he favored his right leg in the effort. He glanced up at the dust-dense beam of light that hovered down into the cell with another despondent exhale. Better than nothing. Showing more determination than he felt, he eased his way to the tiny opening and raised both bloodied arms. He could just reach the narrow windowsill.

Heaving for all he was worth in his current state, he scrambled for a brief glance at the outside world. He peered, defeated, through the crisscross of iron that held him captive, his face briefly illumined by the sharp hues of a waning sunset.

Relatively soft features dominated his appearance, though it was obvious from his sprouting jawline that this wasn’t because of any excess weight. His semi-pointed nose and slightly-oversized ears gave him a faintly comical and childish look; it was clear at a glance, however, that he would not be bursting into laughter anytime soon.

A once severe and heartwarming gaze had been terribly deformed by the throbbing darkness surrounding his left eye and the various bruises and chunks of dried blood that covered his face. Through all this, however, sincerity could be seen behind his penetrating eyes.

He was not a striking man, to be sure, but one that might be considered mildly handsome…on a good day. Given the right set of wits to back his face, the youth would likely have had the ability to turn the eye of many women his age, should he set his mind to it.

Dropping back to the floor, his battered arms pulsing with the strain, the youth grunted. It had not been much of a view. Parallel to the Norion was the run-down Mivan Courthouse. Hastily built of crumbling, uniform brick and boasting a dreary shale roof, it was, sadly, the pride of the small city of Mivan. Countless others like it had been built across Atala, ensuring expedient and uneven trials for enemies of the Supremacy. This was the one in which the youth had just been convicted of high treason.

It had also obstructed his view through the window. All that had been visible was the untended cobblestone street that ran between the two buildings. He had seen it on his way in, and it was still unexciting.

Shoulders drooping even further, the youth turned his blood-encrusted back to the nearest wall and was about to slump to the floor.

“See anything interesting?” said a low, clear voice.

The youth started in alarm, his tattered reflexes throwing him instinctively into a defensive stance. Colors swam at the edges of his vision, as they always did when he felt alarmed or frightened. Greens, blues, and purples swirled around the darkness of the cell, and his thoughts snapped into focus as he took in every centimeter of the room in the space between two frantic heartbeats. He still couldn’t see anything.

From somewhere in the cell, the voice broke the silence again, this time to give an amused grunt. Still alert, the youth struggled to readjust his shuttered eyes from his look out the window as the colors melted away. Then he saw the speaker.

In the back left corner of the chamber sat the silhouette of a man, nearly impossible to discern from the surrounding darkness that seemed to gravitate in his direction. He wore only black, and a cloak of ambiguity seemed to shroud him. “Of course,” the form went on, “you didn’t even notice I was here. Sometimes I forget just how invisible I can be.” The youth could see the other’s phantom jaw work rhythmically up and down as he spoke.

His unspent adrenaline subsiding, the youth relaxed his strained muscles, nearly collapsing to his rear before catching himself against the wall. As the fight drained out of him, he let out a single breath he’d unconsciously held behind clenched teeth, exhaling a warbled whisper.

“They really let the demons loose on you,” the shadowy man continued. The youth felt himself calm, imagining that he heard the form’s expression soften in pity. “What were you arrested for?”

A slight, mirthless smile creased the youth’s cracked lips at the irony behind the question. “I wish I knew.” That was somehow easier than saying, “murder.”

But it’s more complicated than that, isn’t it?

“Ah,” the vestige of the other man’s head nodded knowingly, “one of those.” A pause and the youth’s questioning glance seemed to prompt the apparition to explain further. “You were in the way. You give those power-mad simpletons who run the Supremacy any reason to target you, you’ll find yourself in the dirt.” Disgusted shaking of the shadow’s head-form indicated how he felt about this. “It’s just a matter of whether it’s before a trial or after.”

Uneasy silence dominated for a minute—uneasy for the youth at least. “Got a name?” The shadowy man asked.

Looking up, the youth was momentarily distracted from the scribble he had been etching busily into the sheen of grime beneath him. “Nadon,” he muttered toward the corner. “My name is Nadon.”

More silence.

“You?”

“Shadow,” the silhouette replied as he sat back, latching gloved fingers behind his head.

Fitting, thought Nadon. Silence.

Just as Nadon grew accustomed to the quiet, Shadow yawned noisily and stretched every one of his lengthy limbs in a fluid, murky movement. “Well,” he sighed when his exhale reached its apex, “back to work.” Rising to a squat, he turned around to the base of the corner he’d been supporting…and promptly continued digging his way to freedom.

His mouth agape in astonishment, Nadon stared at the crumbled mortar and small pile of dislodged stones that were Shadow’s escape in progress. Using only a single, jagged pebble and his tattered fingertips, Nadon’s cellmate was attempting to dig his way to the surface. A brief glimmer of hope blossomed in Nadon’s chest, only to be crushed when he saw how much work was left.

Even as Shadow scraped away at the mortar and stone, Nadon could see that it would take more than a lifetime to penetrate the wall. “Are you crazy? That will take you years! The walls are reinforced with iron and easily half a meter thick!”

“Easily,” Shadow agreed.

Unperturbed, Nadon resumed his discouragement. “And even if you did break through, you would have to dig upward through meters of dirt and rock. And,” Nadon was now fueled by his annoyance at having his hopes raised in the first place, “you still have to hide all of this from the guards.”

“Yes,” the other consented, steadily scratching bits of dust away from between the wall’s rounded rocks. “You’ve certainly given this a lot of thought.”

“You’ll probably be dead before you’re even halfway done,” Nadon finished, further irked.

“Probably.”

A few moments of quiet ensued, in which Nadon forced himself to release his annoyance into the surrounding gloom.

“So,” he finally ventured, “why bother?”

Shadow refused even to pause in his labor to respond, “A warrior never gives up.”

Silence returned with a vengeance as Nadon withdrew into his own thoughts. Ah, he mused, mirroring Shadow’s earlier comment, one of those.

“You going to help?” Shadow asked after a few seconds.

Barely considering the offer, Nadon shook his head, instantly wishing that he hadn’t. “No, thanks.” He was forced to swallow now that his throat had dried up like a lagoon beneath an active volcano. “I like for there to be a point to things I do.”

Another grunt. “So, naturally, you came to jail.”

Ignoring, Nadon retreated to the opposite back corner, crawling almost fetal-like on battered hands and knees. He turned his back to the converging walls when he reached them, sprawling his legs out and allowing his head to fall flaccidly backward. He stared up through the dusk to the blank thought pool of the ceiling. Yay, more rocks.

His stomach lurched imploringly.

As if in response, a shrill chittering sounded next to his bare feet. Peering through the darkness, Nadon jerked his knees back to his chin at the sight of a scraggly rat squeezing its grotesque, lean frame impossibly through a crevice in the floor. He recalled Drandar joking that the Supremacy probably went out of their way to capture the things and release them into their prisons. Nadon was not so sure his friend had been wrong.

Apparently finding little of interest in the room’s new occupant, the creature scrambled over to stand behind Nadon’s cellmate. Without turning, Shadow snatched the rat’s throat with a lightning-quick strike, snapping the life from the creature’s neck in a fatal jerk. A squeal escaped the rodent’s snarling lips as it fell motionless in the man’s grip.
Keeping his eyes on his work, Shadow chucked the carcass toward a cringing Nadon.

 

“You need it more than I do.” The creature’s furry remains landed with a sickening splat near Nadon’s feet.

Nadon nearly retched.

Then, unable to ignore the gnawing hunger inside him, he ate his first prison meal.

*******

About the Author: S.J. Saunders lives in Oregon with his wife, no pets, and a handful of SJ Saundersimaginary friends about whom he writes stories. He also happens to like the dreary northwest weather, thank you very much. His spare time is filled with stories in their many forms, be they novels, video games, TV shows, or movies, but he really does try to find time for healthier activities as well…really.

Connect with S.J.:

Facebook * G+ * Goodreads * Twitter * Pinterest

Book Promo Feature–Moment(s) by Lisa Terry

Moment(s)

YAPC would like to welcome Lisa Terry to the blog today. She is here to share some info and an excerpt of her book Moment(s) with us. If this looks like something you would like to read, please go pick up some copies! Book Description: They’re … [Continue reading]

Book Promo Feature–Webs by Lily Stuart

Webs

YAPC would like to welcome Lily Stuart to the blog today. She is here to share some info and an excerpt of her book Webs with us. If this looks like something you would like to read, please go pick up a copy! Book Description: Lily Stuart is the … [Continue reading]

Book Promo Feature–Love Songs by Jamie Campbell

Love Songs

YAPC would like to welcome Jamie Campbell  to the blog today. She is here to share some information about her book Love Songs. If this looks like something you would like to read, please go pick up a copy! Book Description: Sixteen year old Kaley … [Continue reading]

Book Promo Feature: Jack Lantern: …Brains… by Vance Smith

Jack Lantern Brains

YAPC would like to welcome Vance Smith to the blog today. He is here to share some info and an excerpt of his book Jack Lantern: ...Brains... If this looks like something you would like to read, please use the links to buy some copies. Content … [Continue reading]

Book Promo Feature–The Quest of Narrigh by S.K. Holder

The Quest of Narrigh

YAPC would like to welcome S.K. Holder to the blog today. She is here to share some info and an excerpt of her book The Quest of Narrigh. If this looks like something you would like to read, please go pick up a copy or two! Book Description: THE … [Continue reading]

Book Promo Feature – I, Walter & I, James by Mike Hartner

YA Promo Central is happy to welcome Mike Hartner to the blog. He is the author of I, Walter & I, James and is here to share some information about his books. If either or both books sound like something that you would be interested in reading, … [Continue reading]

Book Promo Feature–Against Her Gentle Sword by Alan Stroe

Against Her Gentle Sword

YAPC woud like to welcome Alan Stroe to the blog today. He is here to share some info and an excerpt from his book Against Her Gentle Sword. If this looks like a book you would like to read, please go pick up a copy! Book Description: On an island … [Continue reading]

Book Promo Feature–Bedmonsters are Cool by Lorain O’Neil and Aaron Majewski

Bedmonsters are Cool

YAPC would like to welcome Lorain O'Neil and Aaron Majewski to the blog today. She is here to share an excerpt and some info about her book Bedmonsters are Cool. If this looks like something you would like to read, please go pick up a copy! Book … [Continue reading]