YA Indie Carnival ~ Max and Nadia ~ Becoming Cursed

Friday, March 30, 2012

Our theme this week is Spring Break, but instead of giving you an excerpt about Spring Break, I'm going to suggest some good reading for the time off! And give you an excerpt on my work in progress...

Here are some books I've read, and my teens have read, recently and quite enjoyed...

ReVamped by Ada Adams
If you're looking for something with a new take on vampires, then I think you'll like this one. In terms of the myth, her vampires are fairly classic with born and made vampires, but she covers a new angle I like... Imagine what the reaction would be if people knew vampires existed. Would they be scared? Or, after all the hype as of late, would they more likely be celebrities? That's the angle Ada uses, and I like how unique it is. It's a nice blend of action and humor, with a sweet dash of romance. It held my attention, and I had to finish it before I could finish the other two books in my currently-reading pile. (The Hunger Games and Entwined.) Only 2.99 for the Kindle version from Amazon.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I just barely finished this. Just in time to watch the movie with my girlfriends. I really liked it and think it was very well done, even though the whole concept of the story is rather distressing. If you haven't read this yet, I recommend you snatch up the Kindle version while it's on sale for 5 bucks from Amazon!

The Secret circle by L. J. Smith
My 18 year old has reading through these very fast. Mrs Smith is one of her favorite authors, and this series is really awesome. Don't think it's anything like the show, because it's not. Sadly they don't let this author have any control over the shows based on her books. :(

A World Without Heroes (Beyonders) by Brandon Mull
My 14 year old has been devouring these as fast as they've come out, and she LOVES them. Also by Brandon is the amazing Fablehaven Series. Great Spring Break reading to keep the kids entertained while they're home from school.

I wish I had new stuff ready for a Spring Break release. But, alas, I'm not quite done yet. Sophia's Cookbook For Mortals is next and I'm doing the finishing touches now. I'm also working very hard on Max and Nadia's story. Here are the first 1000 words of their story. ENJOY!!!

Chapter One
Becoming Cursed

“Why can’t you just let me die in peace?” rasped Max using up a large measure of his waning strength, resenting the men standing beside his bed for making him force out the words at all. Drawing a breath that wheezed into his failing lungs, and rattled on its way back out, Max closed his eyes again.

The rancid flesh around his wound had stopped throbbing at least, and was now a dull tingle. But the poison had leeched into his bloodstream. He could feel the toxic infection work its way to his heart, slowing it. From the inside out it sapped the life from his body.

Max was more than ready and more than willing to die from such a battle wound. He just wished his death had been instant instead of drawn own like this. A wave of new pain lanced through his insides and the surge caused him to cough violently. The contraction of his abdomen forced his head up and away from his pillow. Cool air swept across his sweaty hair and scalp. A hand caught his head, cradling it. Max resented that too. He didn’t want to be bothered even with kindness right now.

“Sir Maximilion, will you please join our order of knights?” The strongly spoken query drew his attention from his pain-filled jumble of barely coherent thought.

Max forced open his eyes and aimed a scowl at the man intruding on his efforts to welcome death so he could finally be released from this torture. The action took a lot more energy than he’d anticipated. His vision blurred instead of focused on the man who’d said his name was Beon. Another called Seth stood by his side. They looked like a pair of wavering blobs, one dressed in green, the other in blue. Max had met them, but only briefly a while back on his most recent visit to London. “Leave me be,” he managed in a raspy voice.
Fingers grasped the sleeves of his sweat-soaked shirt and gave him a shake. The laces at his neck loosened and cool air snapped at his feverish skin. “Listen to me, Max. You don’t have to die!”

Max wanted to growl, “Have you lost your bloody mind?” And emphasize his frustration with a creative string of vile curses. Instead he wrinkled his brow in anger again because that’s all he had the strength for. How could the fool possibly say he didn’t have to die? The idea was pure lunacy; he knew how he was feeling. He was dying, and there was no doubt about it, no escaping it, and no cure for the poison pumping through him.

“Hmm... Is he scowling at us?”

Seth nodded. “Indeed, I believe he is.”

“I’ll admit I’m impressed he can do it so fiercely on his deathbed. He is going to make a wonderful knight for The Order,” Beon said, pride and admiration in his tone.

“Indeed, he will,” the one named Seth murmured in agreement. “Young lad, say you will join our order, and you will not die.”

The ridiculous idea didn’t deserve a response, so he again let his eyelids slide shut, attempting to tune out these two morons. At this point, every inch of his body was one big ache and he prayed death would bloody get on with it! As a knight he’d dealt with his share of pain, plenty of it. This was worse than all of it. He’d been stabbed more times than he cared to number, but generally he hadn’t actually noticed the injury until he saw the blood. He’d been struck with arrows, grazed by lances, and slashed with blades. Having those wounds stitched up was a nasty experience as well, but again, he’d tolerated the discomfort well without the aid of ale. Of course he’d fought fearlessly in the hopes that whatever death he might eventually face, it would be a swift and glorious one. Alas, that had not been the case.

“We’ll return as the sun sets to show you,” said Beon.

Again, Max lacked the strength and motivation to respond, so he didn’t. After muttering something about the low position of the sun in the sky, the men finally left, and Max was able to slip into an un-restful and aching slumber.
Some fool who needed to die a violent death was poking at his shoulder. Max wanted nothing more than to reach for his sword and slice the idiot in two. Unfortunately, he couldn’t find the ability to even lift his arm. Feeling his fingers twitch, he attempted to lower his eyebrows to look as fierce and deadly as possible.
Next the person tapped at his cheek in the most obnoxious way possible. “Max, look at us,” whispered a voice that seemed vaguely familiar even though he couldn’t place it in his toxic-weakened state of mind.
Wishing to swat away the unwanted contact, Max tried to lift his arm but only succeeded in another twitch of his fingers.

“We need to get him out of here,” said another man softly.

What the...?

“He looks like hell. I don’t think we have much time.”

One of the men cleared his throat and hissed next to his ear, “Max. If you had a choice whether you lived or died, what would you choose?”

Max made a weak scoffing noise. “I don’t have that choice—” Those five words had scraped their way out and he didn’t know if he could speak any more.

“But what if you did?” The man gave him a shake. “There isn’t much time. Give me your answer.”
Ignoring them wasn’t getting him what he wanted, but answering might. Hoping they’d leave him alone after this, Max pushed out through his dry lips, “Life.” This wasn’t the kind of death he’d fantasized about. He was supposed to die in a gruesome battle having saved the king through his valiant heroics, not from some bloody infection....

“What did he say?” one of the men asked. To Max it felt like he’d leaned closer.

“He said life.”

“Are you certain?”

“Yes, life does not rhyme with death.”

“I think we should bite him before we try moving him.”

What? Max felt his insides cringe at the strange twist to their conversation. He must be hallucinating. Please, God, take me now! he prayed in his head.

“I concur.”

His eyes swung open and Max tried to focus on the faces hovering above him in the darkened chamber.

“He’s looking! Hurry, show him your fangs.”

Max blinked and stared at what he assumed was the man’s mouth. He had to be hallucinating this entire exchange, it was just too odd.

“Are you showing him?”

“Yes, of course I am!”

A moment of silence.

“I don’t think he can see them.”

“Eye contact, then?”

“Look at him, Seth! He’s completely addled!”

“Breath then.” First the shadow of one of the men’s head fell over his face, then cool air rasped against his skin and he felt himself sink farther into the mattress as even more coherent thought was snatched from his brain. If he hadn’t been completely addled before, he was now.

Max felt the men lift his limp arms from the mattress and then the coolness of breath, or what he thought was breath, as it touched his wrists, just before a slight pinching sensation caused him to attempt pulling back. He was too weak to even budge....
Anonymous said...

*SQUEELE! OMG I cant wait! sounds great, and how bout Max's attitude even as he lay dieing! I love it!

(ali jaterry1031@hotmail.com)

Cheri Schmidt said...

Thanks Ali! :D

Laura Elliott said...

Great reading recs and great excerpt too:) Can't wait for the book!

The Fullers said...

I am so excited for this book to come out! Can't wait!

Cheri Schmidt said...

I can't wait to finish it! LOL

Wish I didn't have so many summer interruptions to my writing right now. Argh...

Pruedence13 said...

A fantastic taster that has certainly left me wanting more! I look forward to reading the entirety of it!! :)