I'm delighted to welcome author Amanda Strong to my blog today with an excerpt from her mature YA paranormal romance The Awakener, latest in her series Watchers of Men.
If your weather's anything like mine, the autumn sunshine will soon be giving way to cold wet rain, so I thought this excerpt seemed fairly appropriate... Plus, of course, it's appropriate to October...
Eden’s feet sloshed through the damp grass, which got longer the further back they wandered. Snow in January was rare in Richmond and its suburbs, but cold, drizzly rain was not. The trees were getting closer together as they trudged on, the fading light of day harder to see. She stayed close behind Micah, preferring to follow his path through the woods.
When he paused abruptly, she collided into his backside.
“Sorry,” she mumbled.
He turned around part way and she saw why he’d stopped. “The tree house!” she gasped.
“Remember all the good times we had in there?” he asked, grinning.
“Yeah.” His smile was infectious and she beamed back at him.
She stepped forward, resisting the urge to fly up the ladder. The square fort nestled in an old oak had been there as long as she could remember. When she and Micah were about three and four, their dad’s had built it together. Being engineers, they crafted a two bedroom tree house with a pitched roof, four windows, a ladder ascending into the middle of the larger main room, and a fireman pole and tire swing off the sides.
She gazed up at the rusted telescope poking through one of the many spy holes.
“And I remember you made me play the dragon every time too. I never got to be the princess or damsel in distress-”
“What?” he cut in, “A knight needs something to fight! Besides, you hated princess crap anyway. Don’t lie,” he stated, when she scoffed at him, “You loved being the dragon because you got to kill me.”
“You’re right. I did like killing you over and over again.”
“Hey, as I recall I wasn’t that bad.” He gave her a crooked smile that left her insides feeling like jelly.
“Think it’s safe?” she asked, touching the ladder.
“Only one way to find out.” Micah was bounding up the steps with her right on his heels.
Something magical about this place, she thought as she playfully pushed him out of the way once they climbed inside. When he shoved her back with a mischievous grin she corrected herself, no there’s something magical about Micah.
He peered through the telescope. “Pretty dirty, but still works.”
“See any monsters?” She moved behind him.
He turned unexpectedly, bringing his face close to hers.
His eyebrows knit together. “Eden, can I tell you something?”
He exhaled and she waited.
“I do see monsters.” She surveyed their surroundings and he added, “Not now. I mean, I see them in my sleep, in visions. I guess that’s what I’m calling them.”
“You do?” Her skin crawled.
“Yeah. It’s kind of freaky.” His eyes searched hers.
“Totally freaky. What are they?”
His shoulders hitched up as his brows relaxed. “Don’t know. They look black, sort of human. They’ve got arms and legs. All I can ever make out’s their red eyes though and,” he frowned, “they’re always chasing me.”
She stared back at him, his expression almost pleading. He needs to tell someone, she realized.
More about The Awakener:
Seeing Micah for the first time in years, fifteen year old Eden wants nothing more than to run and hide, but instead in a moment of sheer embarrassment, she throws her arms around his neck; unaware she just changed her childhood friend forever.
With eyes’ opened to the realm of angels and demons, Micah discovers he has become the Seer, called to save the world from an impending fire. Shy and awkward, Eden stumbles through high school clueless her guardian angel shadows her every move, keeping her safe while she unknowingly “awakens” others to their spiritual gifts. Micah will need those Eden touched to complete his mission which began long ago in the ancient City of Enoch and its secret underground temple.
With angels and demons fighting around them, both Eden and Micah must find their own personal courage and faith in order to know what to do for the battle that awaits them, one they must triumph or risk losing everyone they love.
More about author Amanda Strong:
Born in Dekalb, Illinois, Amanda Strong has called Utah, Arizona, Hawaii, Virginia and now New Mexico home. Amanda has been spinning tales since she was a child. Her family still remembers finding young Amanda with her bright pink glasses, hiding in random corners of the house while scribbling away in one of her many spiral-bound notebooks. You could say that some things never change since Amanda is still writing today. Amanda began her writing career when she uploaded The Awakener, her first full-length novel, on Wattpad where it received over 430,000 reads in four weeks. She was blown away and humbled by the reader support and feedback she received. Because of The Awakener’s success as a non-published book, she was asked to talk on 1400 KSTAR about her story.
In September 2013 Amanda Strong signed with Clean Teen Publishing for publication of The Awakener, which is scheduled to release in late October of this year. The Awakener is the first book in an all-new young adult paranormal romance series called: The Watchers of Men.
When Amanda isn’t writing, you can find her chasing her three rambunctious children around the house and spending time with her wonderful and supportive husband. On some occasions you can still find Amanda with her not-so-pink glasses, hiding in a corner reading her favorite young adult fantasy novels or working out only to blow her diet by eating ice cream.
More about Clean Teen Publishing:
More about the Giveaway:
There is an international tour wide giveaway. Prizes include a Clean Teen Publishing eBook of the reader's choice and bookmark prize pack.