Today for Colleen’s Weekly #poetry challenge I’m focusing on a short excerpt from my debut novel The Curse of Time – Book 1 – The Bloodstone which I will be releasing this summer, (all the relevant details have been emailed to my book cover designer!) plus a new Tanka I’ve written.
Excerpt: The Curse of Time – Book 1 – the Bloodstone
I felt the need to unravel the mystery of my father’s disappearance. Somehow, I knew it all began with Esme, a captured victim of a curse who lived in the mirrors of our house and kept out a watchful eye. I could see her but Mum couldn’t. As far as I could tell, neither could Dad. That suited me because Esme was my secret.
I remembered seeing Esme shortly after she had vanished from school, when Dad disappeared, two years ago. The memories of that day flooded into me so much that I’d thought I had been hallucinating. Poor Esme. When I saw her reflection staring at me in the mirror, the first thing I did to acknowledge her presence was to grab a flannel and try to wipe her away. Some welcoming! Except, she wasn’t a reflection she existed. When she spoke, I almost fell over in shock.
‘Hey, stop that,’ she scolded, ‘I don’t need a shower, you’re making me all smeary.’ I stepped back and stumbled in surprise. This was crazy. Bizarre. Extraordinary, how could this be happening? At that moment, I felt like I had tumbled into a Dr Who mystery. Who else had such a dysfunctional family – a disappearing Dad, an accomplished vanishing cat, a cranky Mum, and now, a girl who lived in mirrors for a best friend? No one!
Fellow Administrators of our Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club #ABRSC on Facebook, myself, my good friends Colleen Chesebro and Debby Gies. Click on Colleen’s and Debby’s photos to be directed to their awesome blogs. These ladies rock!
Emmy’s best friend, Oliver, reappears after being kidnapped by his father ten years ago. Emmy hopes to pick up their relationship right where it left off. Are they destined to be together? Or has fate irreparably driven them apart?
Emmy just wants to be in charge of her own life.
She wants to stay out late, surf her favorite beach—go anywhere without her parents’ relentless worrying. But Emmy’s parents can’t seem to let her grow up—not since the day Oliver disappeared.
Oliver needs a moment to figure out his heart.
He’d thought, all these years, that his dad was the good guy. He never knew that it was his father who kidnapped him and kept him on the run. Discovering it, and finding himself returned to his old hometown, all at once, has his heart racing and his thoughts swirling.
Emmy and Oliver were going to be best friends forever, or maybe even more, before their futures were ripped apart. In Emmy’s soul, despite the space and time between them, their connection has never been severed. But is their story still written in the stars? Or are their hearts like the pieces of two different puzzles—impossible to fit together?
Readers who love Sarah Dessen will tear through these pages with hearts in throats as Emmy and Oliver struggle to face the messy, confusing consequences of Oliver’s father’s crime. Full of romance, coming-of-age emotion, and heartache, these two equally compelling characters create an unforgettable story.
Emmy & Oliver is a YA Contemporary romance with believable, lovable characters that draw you into the story making you want to read more. Emmy & Oliver are the two central pins of the story. Everything revolves around Oliver and his old friends. He returns home following a lengthy disappearance after having been kidnapped by his father, and is reunited with old friends, and family members. Things have moved on a lot in the meantime. His mother has remarried and he has two twin half-sisters. His old friend Drew now has a boyfriend. Oliver expresses his emotions at all these changes in an utterly convincing way. As the novel progresses we begin to understand how he felt towards his father, (whom he still loves,) and his mother, and how he feels now.
I really loved this. It wasn’t trying to be over the top, gushing romance, or poor me I’ve been kidnapped feel sorry for me story. Instead it went for the gentleness of feels. That’s how I’d describe it. It had the perfect mix: believable storyline, cute romance (s), – between Emmy & Oliver as well as tidbits of Drew’s gay romance, wonderfully engaging characters, and fantastic dialogue. The dialogue really held it together in a very cohesive way. It made me happy – while I was reading Emmy & Oliver I was editing my own YA dialogue in my current WIP, so this gave me bags of ideas and inspiration. So a big Thank you to the author Robin Benway for his awesome dialogue!
Moreover, Emmy and Oliver’s friends, Caro and Drew are so likeable and engaging too.
I loved the interaction between Emmy, Oliver and their parents, this was first class. Their parents’ overblown anxiety and protectiveness following Oliver’s kidnapping is so understandable, but Emmy isn’t one to be held in check. She goes surfing on the sly, and has other plans that she hasn’t told her parents about…. So this is also a story about growing up, new opportunities, new paths, discovering who you are, and cutting those parental apron strings.
My only criticism was this:
Towards the end of the book Oliver’s dad gets justice for his crime and Oliver doesn’t seem to react much, which seems odd given that he still loves his father.. the story loses a bit of its believability at that point. I think this could have been remedied and explored by adding a chapter in the POV of Oliver at that precise point… Consequently this dropped a star in my rating otherwise Emmy & Oliver would have been a solid 5 stars.
Nevertheless, if you like a slow burning YA Contemporary romance, with masses of tender feels, and family centred issues this is the one for you.
Highly recommended. It is sad, heart-warming, and insightful, a witty exploration of family life.
I marked it a favourite – just saying!
My rating 4 stars.
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