Friday, May 11, 2018

#Friday'sFeaturedTitle: THE KEY OF F BY JENNIFER HASKIN #YA #Sci/fi

Title: The Key of F
Author: Jennifer Haskin
ISBN: 978-1-62420-358-9
Genre: YA Fantasy
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 4

Buy at: Amazon, Barnes and Noble


Being trained as a warrior is all Fale ever wanted, but when she starts having visions, evil forces threaten all the lives she loves. 


Though Fale has never discovered who murdered her parents and left her orphaned as a child, she attempts to lead a normal and peaceful life. After all, she is training to be a peacekeeping warrior under the direction of her adoptive father. But, when she starts having strange visions that predict the future on her 18th birthday, it turns her life into anything but ordinary. Alongside her best friends and the man who rejected her three years ago, Fale must discover the truths of her past to achieve her true destiny. Can she harness her inner warrior to save her people? And can she prove that she is no longer an innocent child to the man she loves along the way?


It wasn’t the moon’s coming red-sky eclipse that drove Fale so quickly inside; it wasn’t even the spring chill. She had dreamt of a war; one beyond her lifetime, yet she’d been there. She had led the army. Killing the boy in the dream troubled her. Today she wanted to be around people she knew and trusted. She thoughther city was safe. Still, tingles ran the length of her arms, warning her of something sinister waiting. She shook her limbs to ward off the tremors of edgy nerves and pushed through the glass door of the pub. Immediately she felt the thump of a low and steady bass guitar, as a musical lament rang through the smoky antechamber. A torrid blast of heat hit Fale in the face as she entered the main room of the pub during its lunchtime press. This place is like a sauna, she thought as she scanned the room looking for her party. Her friends were hard to find in the boisterous crowd. She sidled down the bar to the back booths and found them, waving and calling her name over the noise.
“Fale!” Izzy twisted in her seat. “Hurry up; lunch is almost over.”
Fale smiled brightly at Izzy, and ignored Keron as he stepped out of the booth for her to slide in. The seats, once a vibrant red leather, were now dull and cracked with wear.
“Sorry I’m late, Izzy.” They hugged briefly. “How were your morning classes?” she shouted above the noise of the deafening table next to them.
“Brutal.” Izzy rolled her eyes. “It’s crazy in here today. You should be glad you’re late; the guys have been arguing the whole time. Keron had a bad morning, and now he’s just plain pissy. It’s so loud and hot; I’m almost glad to go back to class,” she said, not caring if the guys heard her.
Fale shook her head, laughing. “Liar. Not even I am so sadistic. Don’t you have Industrial Instrumentations this afternoon? Nobody likes that class.”
“Not all of us had the benefit of an advisor like you did,” Izzy pouted. “Having a drink?” She lifted her glass half full of amber liquid.
Fale turned to her other side. “Keron, would you pass the pitcher?”
He looked at her tiredly and set his icy drink down. “Got a glass?” he asked.
“I guess I forgot to grab one from the bar on my way over,” she said, rising.
Keron sighed. “I’ll getcha one,” he grumbled, pushing her arm back into the seat.
Odd; he really must be having a bad day.
Keron rose as fluidly as a swimmer moving through a pool, despite having a mechanical arm and leg, but he didn’t get far. The booth next to them, a round booth, was packed full to overflowing with a group who called themselves the Rowdies. Trouble was their companion, and Fale had heard, mostly from her friends, they participated in underground fighting which was as deadly as it was illegal. Most people gave them a wide berth. That day they felt the need to harass Keron. It wasn’t unusual for fantocci, bondsmen marked by their metal limbs, to be the object of ridicule. They were glorified servants who had needed a limb or an organ replaced with metal parts and were now locked into lifelong service to pay their debt. Keron was passing their table, going to the side bar, when the leader taunted, “Hey metal man! Are you half metal everywhere? What about where it counts? Betcha can’t please the women, eh?” The other Rowdies laughed as one of them grabbed a handful of his pants at the crotch.
Keron growled down at them, “Mind your own damn business.” His hands curled into fists.
The Head Rowdy, dressed in black leather, jumped up to stand nose to nose with Keron and said, “I’m making it my business.”
Other Rowdies stood, cocking their heads in interest, shifting their weight from foot to foot like skittish wild animals. Fale felt a familiar tingling down her arms and body. This time, pictures flashed through her mind. Vivid scenes of blood and danger, telling a story, played in her head and she knew what she needed to do. Instinctively, she snatched Keron’s mallet and knife from their place on top of his toolbox and hid them under her bag. Fale looked around to make sure no one had noticed her acting strangely. An uneasy feeling made her reach back to put his tools where she’d found them, but she froze. Her vision had shown her this was the right decision. She covered them with her bag and watched, no matter how painful it would be to sit there and do nothing, to see if this would work itself out.
The Rowdy threw his first punch. Keron deflected but was momentarily dazed when he looked back and couldn’t find his mallet or knife to use as weapons. Keron held his fists up to fight back; he swung at the head Rowdy and connected with his jaw. They wove around each other in a fighter’s dance, each looking for the best blow. One of the Rowdies had slipped behind Keron wielding the hooked end of a pry bar and tripped his metal leg. As he fell, the head Rowdy threw his next jab. Keron’s head hit the table, and his eyes rolled briefly. Keron fell heavily to the floor, and the head Rowdy moved to kick him, but Keron rolled and punched the side of his knee cap. The Rowdy screamed. Keron was on his feet in seconds and glanced back at the seat for his weapons, but Fale kept them hidden. With every punch, Fale felt a twinge of pain. The fight was elevating. She had to stop this before someone called Control. No one else would dare help a fantocci in trouble, but she hated to imagine what fate might befall a fantocci caught fighting in public. There would be no mercy for him.
“Fale, do something.” Izzy pushed against her.
Fale slid from the bench seat and jumped in between the men with her arms raised. She turned to Keron, watching his chest rise and fall as he glared above her head at his opponent.
“Leave it,” she pleaded, attempting to push back Keron’s arm with his fist held high. “He’s not worth it.” Bar patrons gathered to view the spectacle, and the bouncer was shoving his way toward them holding a baton.
“Please,” she whispered.


warriors, magic, romance, fighting, YA fantasy


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1 comment:

Christine Young said...

Welcome to the Angel's blog. Allana Angel