Published: October 15th, 2014
They told him his world was destroyed.
And they were the last to escape.
They thought he was safe.
They were wrong.
Jim Wales can communicate with animals, but that’s not why he lives with a traveling carnival. Turns out his family’s been hiding him there since he was little, since someone started hunting all the scholars. Jim is a scholar—someone who can manipulate energy using magic—and he has no idea.
When a message arrives from Jim’s father—who supposedly died twelve years ago—Jim’s whereabouts are discovered, their carnival is attacked, and his mother is kidnapped. On the run with a strange glass map and a single coin, Jim finds himself racing to reclaim the father he thought he’d lost, plotting to save his mother, and discovering the truth about who he is.
But going home isn’t the same as being safe, and trust is everything.
What readers are saying:
"Told in a beautiful, flowing style full of colorful images and adrenaline-pumping action."
"Pop some popcorn, sit back ... and enjoy the thrill ride, right up to the end, which leaves you begging for more."
"Captures your attention from the start and then guides you through a roller coaster of adventure, drama, mystery, magic and young love."
Which comes first, the characters or the story?
I don’t think you can have one without the other, and finding that balance is important in fiction. I tend to be driven by plot more than character, especially when plotting out a story, but it doesn’t matter how fabulous your plot is if you don’t have characters who are impacted by that particular plot in ways that are specific and meaningful to them.
“Well, it’s not dead.” Charlie let out a nervous laugh.
“What should we do with it?” Sam asked.
Hollis took off his t-shirt and proceeded to wrap the bird like a burrito. “We need to protect her wings in case she thrashes. She’ll wake soon.”
I looked at Hollis, stunned. “How do you know that?” I asked. And what else did he know?
“This,”—he cradled the wrapped bird in his arms—“is a very important messenger. It’s called a Sending. They don’t do that sort of thing anymore—change an animal like that.” He shook his head as if lost in thought. “It changes them. Their brain. Something big must be going on back home. There’s only one person who could have sent her to you. And if I’m right, then something’s really wrong.”
“What kind of wrong?” Sam asked, his forehead wrinkled with worry.
Everything in me flashed to attention at what Hollis said. “Back home?” I asked. There was no way.
Hollis stared at me, saying nothing.
“Hollis, what do you mean back home?” I repeated. I’d always known we weren’t from here, from the Modern World—the human world. All of us, everyone in Sweetwater’s, were originally from a place called Bellenor, which used to be connected to this world by some magical force—until the bridge collapsed. Or so I’d been told. “You all said Bellenor was destroyed. Back when my mother was a kid. Before I was born.”
“I’m sorry, Jim,” he said. “We had no choice.”
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About the author:
Corinne O'Flynn is a native New Yorker who now lives in Colorado and wouldn't trade life in the Rockies for anything. She loves writing flash and experimenting with short fiction. Her novel, THE EXPATRIATES (Oct. 2014) is a YA fantasy adventure with magic and creatures and lots of creepy stuff. She is a scone aficionado, has an entire section of her kitchen devoted to tea, and is always on the lookout for the elusive Peanut Chews candy.
When she isn’t writing or hanging with her family, Corinne works as the executive director of a nonprofit. She is a member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Mystery Writers of America, and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. You can find her online at her website, Facebook, or Twitter:
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This looks like a very interesting read. I would love to read this and the cover looks great too.
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