Sharon Bayliss is hosting a contest with Krystal Wade from Curiosity Quills. Each entrant posts their query and first 500 words on 5/25, then we go around giving helpful suggestions to other brave contestants. On 5/28 we email our revised entries to Sharon for Krystal's consideration. Click HERE to find out more about how to enter.
So... here goes it...
Fourteen-year-old Eri sprints into the night seeking a beast that wants nothing more than to feast on her flesh. She knows this is suicide, but she can't deny the pull. The Calling is too strong. As the beast’s claws reach for her throat, a Protector slices off its head, saving Eri from a bloody death.
The Protectors are River Island’s only defense against the monsters roaming the darkness. The clandestine guardians use the Calling—the internal link to the man-eating beasts—to watch over the village. Being a Protector is an honorable, secretive position, and one only fit for men.
While the link grows within Eri, she finds herself repeatedly drawn beyond the safety borders, hoping to satiate the rage flooding her veins. But without proper training, the beasts will destroy her. And as a girl, Eri’s not allowed the education to become one of the Protectors.
Beast encounters increase. Villager deaths rise. Eri must secretly learn the skills to fight before there's nothing left to fight for.
MY PROTECTOR: THE CALLING is a young adult post apocalyptic novel complete at 65,000 words. Readers of Kimberly Derting's THE BODY FINDER and Maggie Stiefvater's THE SCORPIO RACES will connect with Eri’s journey—a girl shunned from the only trade that can give her the tools to control her inexplicable connection to seek evil.
My First 500:
Going to the river was forbidden.
I knew this, yet I stepped of the gravel path and walked into the field. With teeth clenched, I sucked in rapid breaths, enough to nearly taste the crisp grass beneath my feet.
The thudding inside my ribcage screamed at me to turn around. Stop, Eri!
Early moonlight sparkled off the few remaining patches of snow. I should have paid attention to nature’s signal. Even the winter knew better than to dwell this close to the safety border.
A gong sang out across the village, ringing through my insides. The warning bell.
I glanced over my shoulder at the hazy silhouettes of people fleeing for refuge, their shouts dying in the distance. I should have turned back. But the charcoal sky and inky river pulled me forward.
Adrenaline flooded my veins, propelling my legs faster. My brain searched for one sane thought to stop my muscles from carrying me out there.
Suicide. This is suicide!
Conflicting thoughts swirled through my head. I squeezed my eyes shut against the confusion and pressed my hands over my ears, begging the pounding inside to leave me alone. “Please stop, please stop, please stop, please stop, please stop—”
Something broke through the tree line, blurry with speed, eerily dark, features impossible to decipher.
Logic told me to turn and run for my life, but my feet rooted to the frosty ground. From somewhere deep inside the fibers of my being, I knew I belonged there. Waiting for it.
A blanket of anger draped over my world, muffling sound, wrapping me in rage. I crouched into an aggressive stance, primed and eager to spring forward. Ready.
The nightmare sped toward me, moving more like water than animal, swift and fluid in the gloom. Seconds separated us.
As if descending from flight, the beast crashed into the ground like a meteorite falling to Earth, digging an elongated hole as it slid to a halt inches from where I stood. The creature’s head no longer connected to its body, rolled past my dirt covered feet, coming to rest somewhere behind me.
The it that only moments ago bore down on me with the sole intent of feeding on my flesh, lie dead before me.
How am I still alive?
My eyes devoured every feature of the evil at my feet, relishing each detail: its enormity, the dark sheen of its hide, the absence of fur, four powerful legs, thin tail, no wings though it seemed to fly a second ago.
I turned away from its body in search of the head and found the inside of its skull facing me. Blood and gore held together by a ring of thick, leathery skin. Its grisly expression fixed, eyes staring toward the village. I stepped over the beast’s crater to get a better look at the atrocity when I caught the whisper of movement.
Dread fluttered through me for the first time.
What do you think? I am looking forward to any and ALL suggestions :)
Congratulations to Krystal Wade on her May release of Wilde's Fire! And congratulations to Sharon Bayliss for signing a publishing contract with Curiosity Quills! Thank you both for putting this contest together!
Good luck to those of you who entered and I'll be stopping by your blog soon!