Ripped Ties, Book 1
Evernight Teen, Released Nov 21st., 73K
Romance, Dystopian, Urban Fantasy, Interracial
Tsunamis reduced the USA into a shell of itself, called The Fold. Surviving humans and vampires joined forces to form The Colony, where registered citizens do as their told.
They donate blood quarterly and dream of being chosen as Attendees for the Jubilee celebrations, that is, everyone except Macie Breen. With high school graduation near, she’s anxious to ditch the rules in hopes of starting a new life with Thane, an unregistered and also her best friend.
Her hopes fizzle when Macie is selected as an Attendee, forever registered. Any future with Thane…impossible. Being chosen comes with another unexpected price.
Truths about The Colony blaze into ashes and lies when she discovers the vampires haven’t kept their part of the bargain. Worst still, Macie’s life unravels as her stint in the city of Bliss forces her to face daunting truths about who, and what, she really is.
As promised, a tent hid in the darkest corner. I could barely make it out. Although my long sleeves kept me warm, the inside of the tent felt cozy, quaint and much warmer since it blocked out most of the wind.
“Didn’t think you’d make it.” He offered me a seat on a pillow. I thought that was nice, because I didn’t much like the idea of sitting on the ground.
“I try to be a girl of my word…I mean, when I can.” Breaking my promise about donating still irked me. All I could do was hope he understood. Although we never promised to share every little thing with each other, we practically did. Keeping the bike incident from him needled at my heart. I wanted to tell him, but I still didn’t know how to explain it.
“You’re right, Macie. We got different situations. I shouldn’t have asked that of you in the first place. I overreacted. I’m sorry.” He pulled his pillow closer and sat beside me. The tent grew warmer all of a sudden.
“Good. I’d hate to lose my only friend over something like that.” I tucked a few loose strands behind my ear. I had my hair down the way he’d said he liked it. That was important to me. He was important to me. Since the day he found me hiding in this very same spot, eight years ago––a little girl crushed, confused, and alone––he’d become so much more than a friend. I wanted him to know, so badly. But how to say it?
I checked out the rest of the tent. Small packs of smoked meat and cheese. Two solar powered holo-visors he probably bartered to get for us, green lit and fully charged. They probably had some cool movie from the banned list on them…hopefully a horror one. There was even a flower. A flower?
“Look, can I confess something to you?” His question pulled me from my little survey and stopped my heart. Maybe I wasn’t alone in feeling something special between us.
“Sure. Go ahead.” I gathered my hands in my lap to hide my trembles. I don’t know why I was so nervous. It was just Thane. Okay, so yeah, maybe that was why I couldn’t still my pounding heart.
He cleared his throat. “I’m not sure how you’ll take it.”
My body fought every command. Don’t look at him. That failed, as my gaze trailed the leanness of his arm. His skin held a soft glow, a moonlit cascade that clung to him like an aura. First time I noticed it.
Don’t stare at him. That failed, too.
He took my silence for listening. “I didn’t know what to expect when I first met you. You were so young, innocent, and beautiful.”
The air grew shallow. A breath stuck in my throat. Don’t look in his eyes. Quicksilver pulsed, radiating as I failed that command as well.
“We’re not kids anymore, Macie. You’ve learned what little The Colony had to say about the vampeer, wights and devil spawn. There’s something else they’ve hidden from you. From all registered citizens. I’ve wanted to tell you for a long time why we met. Just how special you really are. But you won’t want to be my friend anymore once you know the truth. Losing you would be…”
Words trickled from my mouth unfiltered. “I, what do you mean I wouldn’t…”
He turned to me, chewing his bottom lip. The last time he did that was the day I broke first blood.
We were playing at knight warriors, a favorite of ours since we were kids. I thrust my wooden sword forward. It clattered to the ground as I doubled over from a sharp spasm in my stomach. I tried to shoo Thane away, deal with the pain on my own. But, noticing the grimace on my face––I really tried hard to be quiet, but I cried out anyway––he wouldn’t have it. When he glanced at my yellow cargo pants, he chewed his bottom lip, eyes wide. My gaze trailed down to the bloody mess I’d become. My face couldn’t have flashed hotter if I set it on fire.
Now he was doing it again, chewing his bottom lip. What could he possibly have to say? He opened his mouth to speak when the tent flap ripped away. We jerked our heads around to face a tall being covered in shaggy, brown fur from scalp to hoof. A shadowy glow encircled it like a dirty aura. Two arms protruded from both sides. Jagged teeth crowded its mouth. Drool leaked down its chin. Reptilian eyes shone bright white with a red slit down the middle. One set of eyelids blinked side to side as the second set followed up and down. It snarled, spat and drooled some more. My bladder felt one moment away from losing it.
“Frag me,” I whispered, as my world collapsed into a nightmare.
Making Macie Breen
Like many readers, I loved The Hunger Games. As I read the book, my mind started wandering in some different directions, pondering what it would be like if life wasn’t so rough for the citizens who lived in the outlying areas, and what it would be like if every citizen dreamed of being selected to attend some spectacular event where people fell all over themselves to be them instead of the kill-all-only-one-can-survive-game from THG. I considered writing fanfiction, but THG was just perfect the way it was written so I decided to head off in my own direction. And the first thing I knew was that I could NOT create a new Katniss.
Katniss displayed her protective nature from the first page of the story, as well as her prowess with a weapon. Her choice to sacrifice herself tugged at the heart but wasn’t a surprise given the choice of letting her sister go as the representative for their town or volunteering to go in her place. Her actions were strategic, logical, and at times, filled with emotion.
For my story, I knew I’d have to stray from Katniss. But what kind of character could fit the bill? I didn’t want her to be a total whiner with no ability to do a gosh darn thing for herself. She had to have good reason to be the only person around who didn’t want to be chosen, ever, for The Colony’s special four year event. This led to building a character with a little bit of rebel in her. Despite The Colony’s perfect façade, she questioned what others easily accepted. Adding in her self-consciousness about her uncanny ability to heal and the fog of questions surrounding her parents’ disappearance or deaths – or abandonment if you ask some of the New Festus citizens – helped bring Macie Breen to life.
Macie has a bit of a chip on her shoulder because she doesn’t fit The Colony mold of a perfect registered, ever the odd-girl-out even when she’s selected as a Jubilee Attendee. Where others would dance for joy, she’s sick to her stomach. And sadly, this is only the beginning to her unraveling. In a sense, this is one thing Macie and Katniss share: from the moment of Macie’s selection and Katniss’s volunteering, neither of their lives would ever be the same again.
About the Author:
Born and raised in Little Rock, AR, Angela Brown now calls Central Texas home. She’s a lover of Wild Cherry Pepsi and chocolate/chocolate covered delicious-ness. Steampunk, fantasy and paranormal to
contemporary – mostly young adult – fill her growing library of books.
Mother to a rambunctious darling girl aptly nicknamed Chipmunk, life stays busy. Her favorite quote keeps her moving: “You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi. She’s released Neverlove and They All Fall Down of the Shadow Jumpers series, Frailties of the Bond and Atone of the NEO Chronicles, and BEACON, a YA urban fantasy dystopian published by Evernight Teen publishing.
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