My close writer friend - Kriston Johnson - has just released her first young adult novel: Awakened. In honor of her debut novel I am participating in her book blast...including a grand giveaway of one e-copy of Awakened for Kindle, Nook, or even your laptop to one lucky winner who leaves a comment. In addition to the book, the one lucky participant will receive a $25.00 Amazon gift card, as well as an Awakened bookmark - which Kriston will sign!
But first, the excerpt from Awakened, by Kriston Johnson:
Jade was an expert at ignoring everything and everyone around her - except when there was a demon hovering at the doorway. It was supposed to be the time of her life, but so far junior year sucked. Day after day she spent her lunch in the school library, sitting at the same table in the back corner. The farther away she was from everybody else, the better. It was the easiest place to escape the scrutinizing stares and smart remarks she received from the wonderful students she was supposed to consider her peers. Jade's clammy hands gripped armrests on her chair until her fingers turned white, her chest frozen mid-breath while other students moved around the room with careless ease.
Why don't they see him? He's right there. She moved only her eyes and scanned the room. If anyone else acknowledged it, she would know she was not as crazy as everyone accused. She just needed one other person to see him. Just one. The demon stood upright like a human, hunched over with a slight hump on its back. She didn't worry about fighting back tears; those had dried up a long time ago.
After watching it for what felt like an eternity, she saw Sadie Baker strut through the doorway; followed by her boyfriend Seth. For half a second, Jade wasn't sure what surprised her more: the demon or that Sadie even knew where the library was. She breezed past the demon as if he weren't there, because to her he wasn't.
Sadie caught the demon's attention, and he watched as she sauntered across the room. His face was partially hidden beneath his draped hood, but Jade could see it was barely more than a skeleton. His cheeks were sunk in, his skin was practically white, and his eyes were nothing more than solid black orbs. He slithered from side to side like a serpent as he glided across the tile floor, following her as the tattered shreds of his charcoal gray cloak rippled behind him. Mr. and Mrs. Perfect plopped down one table over from Jade and dropped their backpacks on the floor. Sadie wore Seth's class ring on a chain around her neck, and she played with it often to make sure everyone could see it. She loosely held the ring in her fingers and slid it back and forth along the delicate silver link chain. The demon honed in on the ring, his head swaying to and fro like a cobra, saliva dripping from its mouth.
Jade wished the demon would get bored and move on, but something about the ring had him mesmerized. More than anything, she just wanted to grab her things and pretend none of it was happening. Despite the fact that Sadie was cold-hearted, thought she was better than everyone else, and had made Jade's life a living hell every school day for the last five years, Jade didn't want her to suffer the unholy wrath a demon could inflict on a person.
Cautiously, Jade stood. The demon hissed, exposing blackened, jagged teeth, and reached out with gnarled hands toward the unsuspecting Sadie. Jade rushed over and grabbed the ring out of Sadie's hand. She yanked down hard on the chain, breaking it free from Sadie's neck.
"What the hell?" Sadie screeched, rubbing the back of her neck.
The demon jerked his head and lunged for the ring. Jade threw it across the room. Clinking across the tile, the ring slid in front of the window and down into a grated vent in the floor, the chain trailing behind it. The demon gave chase and hovered over the ring's resting place. Before dematerializing into vapor, he faced Jade, a sadistic smile spreading across his pale face.
* * * * * * *
Be sure and leave a comment if you'd like to have a chance at winning the grand giveaway. If you'd rather just go ahead and purchase Awakened, here are the links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords.
I'll be back on Writ of Whimsy on Saturday, May 11th to announce the name of the grand giveaway winner!