Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Forsaken Comes Out May 1st!

Yes, you read it right, tomorrow my debut novel "The Forsaken" will be available! So in honor of this momentous occasion I am sharing a excerpt from said novel featuring my heroine, Gwenevere. No last name? Nope. She doesn't have a last name because she doesn't know who she really is or from where she comes. All she has is a locket inscribed with the name Gwenevere, disjointed memories, and a recurring dream that threatens death should she ever return home. "The Forsaken" is the first book out of six in "The Children of Cain" series. In book one we follow our Heroine's journey from age five to age eleven as she tries to discover her own identity and find her place in this strange human world. However, this is not a Young Adult novel, this is a very dark tale with grown up themes. It's not graphic per say, but might not be suitable for anyone under eighteen years of age. Without further ado, her is a little sample of "The Forsaken".

“Where do you think you’re going?” Beatrice all but shouts at her as her fingers dig into the flesh of Gwen’s arm. Gwen fights and struggles to get free. All around her, she can feel the customers and employees gawking, the chatter of their many voices sounding loud in her ears until she feels as though her head is going to burst. Gwen stops struggling and turns to behold a dark look of hatred on the middle-aged woman towering over her.
“Let me go!” Gwen commands. Her voice becoming deep and hollow, the sound filling the whole diner with its resonating tone, penetrating all the spectator’s ears and reverberating through their skulls. Suddenly, as if magically, Beatrice releases her. With her eyes going wide and her expression blank, she stands up erect before Gwen, her gaze transfixed upon Gwen’s yellow-green eyes.
Raven comes running through the door. He stops short when he realizes that everyone save Gwen is acting strangely. He looks all around the diner noticing that all present are sitting or standing stiffly, bodies erect, all turned toward Gwen, their faces devoid of feeling or emotion. Gwen is now their only focus, commanding their strict attention as they stare at her with wide eyes.
“What happened?” Raven turns to Gwen who looks around her in disbelief.
       “I don’t know. I mean, I did this once before, but it was kind of an accident.”
       “Well, what did you do?” Raven asks, perplexed as he waves a hand in front of Beatrice’s eyes to see if she’ll flinch or blink. She doesn’t react, just continues to stare, transfixed at Gwen.
“I just spoke, and this happened!” Gwen exclaims. She frowns at the kind man who still holds the door open; she puts out a hand toward him. “You can go now,” she says, but he doesn’t move. She says it again, this time staring deep into his eyes. Suddenly, he springs to life, startling both Gwen and Raven.
“Have a good night, miss,” he says smiling down to Gwen and then quickly exits to join his family who await him outside. The door swings shut behind him, leaving Raven and Gwen to stare after him in amazement.
       “You can tell them what to do?” Raven asks, flabbergasted.
“I don’t know,” Gwen replies. She scans the rest of the occupants of the diner and is somewhat relieved to see that their condition had not altered. “Let me see if I can do it again?” She says to Raven as she plants herself right in front of the unfriendly Beatrice. Taking a deep breath, Gwen looks deep into her eyes, and using the same commanding voice she says, “Go open the cash register and give us all the money inside.”
      Just as the man had done, Beatrice springs into life, a cheery, happy disposition about her as she turns and practically skips back behind the counter. She pushes a few buttons and the register springs open with a chime. The once-rude waitress reaches in, pulls out the entire cash teal, and holds it out to Gwen, a big beaming smile on her wrinkled face.
      Raven and Gwen exchange a look of awe. Gwen slowly smiles, a nervous laugh erupting out of her as she reaches out and takes the teal from the waitress who just stands their grinning at them like an idiot doll.      
“Hurry, go get our bags from the truck!” Gwen orders Raven who immediately rushes out the door to obey. While he is gone, Gwen is left alone with the mannequin-like people; all their eyes upon her, making her skin crawl. But Beatrice’s unnatural smile makes her the most uncomfortable.
Out of the corner of her eyes, she sees something and turns her head to look out the glass window into the dark night. Suddenly, a man dressed in a fancy white suit appears on the other side of the glass windowpane. It is the man from the forest, the same man that started the fire in her vision. He smiles, and Gwen feels her inners turn to ice. She stares wide eyed at this apparition, feeling cold and ashamed as if standing their naked.
“You are all powerful, aren’t you, my dear?” A voice like dark music in an empty room echoes in her mind. The man before her just smiles, his lips hadn’t moved, yet she knows that it is his voice that she hears. 
“You can kill them if you want. Or just kill one. Just to see how it feels. You know you can do it. The power is there, just reach out…” he speaks of killing in a dispassionate tone, he raises an eyebrow at her as if to issue a challenge.
“Who are you?” Gwen finds herself speaking in her mind, knowing somehow that she can’t push him out of her head.
It only takes a minute for Raven to return, yet for Gwen, it feels like an eternity has passed. A bell dings. Startled, Gwen turns to watch Raven walk into the diner, their bags tucked under his large arms.
     “Here is your bag, Gwen.” Raven hands it to her, his face flushed from running, his eyes alight with excitement.
Gwen flashes a look back where the man in white had been standing, finding nothing but the dark, empty night behind the clear diner windowpane. In shock, Gwen stares not sure what to think.

All right, well... there it is. If you want to read more then you'll just have to go buy the book tomorrow! Now go forth and share the news with one and all. "The Forsaken" comes out May 1st!

R.J. Craddock