I am SO lucky to have been one of the random 150 chosen by the Rafflecopter.
A huge thank you to the hosts of The Writer's Voice - Cupid of Cupid's Literary Connection, Krista Van Dolzer of Mother. Write. (Repeat)., Brenda Drake of Brenda Drake Writes, and Monica B.W. of Love YA.
Also, I'd like to thank Kimberly Chase for her HUGE contribution.
Oh, and a picture of my dog (because).
There’s nothing sweet about Freya’s sixteenth birthday. Actually, it may be her worst one yet – the phantom voice that started calling her name is a sure sign she’s going insane, just like her mother. Her best friend is acting paranoid, looking over their shoulders and pulling her into dark alleys. Exhausted by a life that keeps getting crazier, Freya wishes for an escape. When her birthday candle flickers out, that new life comes crashing through the door of her old apartment.Her estranged father, who she hasn’t seen in twelve years, has come to rescue her. Freya’s never felt such relief. Until the smoke clears and strange, faceless creatures come pouring in behind him. After a raging battle, he escapes with her to a castle. But it isn’t anything like a fairytale. It’s cold and damp and sinister things roam the halls after dark. Any hope she had of bonding with him is crushed when he informs her of his real reason for taking her. He is the GateKeeper, the only one responsible for keeping evil out of the world. He’s dying and soon Freya will have to fulfill his role.
As her father grows sicker, she moves closer to her fate and the truth that her father isn’t the good man she thought he was. When her father is kidnapped, Freya is caught between warring factions of Good and Evil. Her best weapon in the fight is also her greatest weakness: every time Freya uses it, she slides closer toward the darkness that she fears. But any price is worth paying to save someone you love, even if they might end up being the villain.
The GateKeeper is a YA Fantasy that will appeal to fans of Daughter of Smoke and Bone. It is complete at 78,000 words.
Freya winced as the brush scraped down her back. She wanted to scream but that would only upset her mother and send her into one of her spells. Most nights this pre-bed ritual bought a peaceful sleep. She didn’t suffer it for her mother, though. She sat through the agony for her grandpa. He had the burden of caring for his daughter-in-law. While Freya escaped to school, he had no relief from the incessant caretaking.
“One hundred ninety-eight. One hundred ninety-nine. Two hundred.” Her mother stopped, setting the brush down. “Tomorrow, we’ll put it up for school. I have a turquoise ribbon that will match your dress perfectly.” She clapped her hands with delight.
Freya remained silent. She hadn’t worn that dress since she was five. By the time she finished elementary school, she had outgrown dresses completely. Her mother hadn’t noticed.
Freya wasn’t sure she was capable of noticing anything.
Last year, Freya had chopped off her hair in a moment of anger. That hadn’t registered with her mother. The brush was still ripped through Freya’s short, spiky hair and grated down her back as though her long, blonde locks still reached her waist.
“Doesn’t my little girl look beautiful?”
“She does,” Freya’s grandpa agreed, smiling in the doorway. “And now it’s time for bed.”
“Yes, yes.” Her mother kissed her forehead. Freya shuddered at her chapped lips. They felt like sandpaper on her skin.
She crawled into bed, allowing herself to be tucked in.
“Sweet dreams for my sweet baby girl.”