There will be a short break from our regularly scheduled autism acceptance programming, for this blog tour I’m part of for Shannon at Reads and Reels! Today the spotlight is on Slumbering, the first in a YA urban fantasy series (The Starlight Chronicles) by author C.S. Johnson. Read on for an excerpt, and a giveaway!
SLUMBERING by C.S. Johnson
Publication Date: December 2014
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy/ Satire
Sixteen-year-old Hamilton Dinger leads a charmed life. He’s got the grades for the top of the class, the abilities of a star athlete and Tetris player, and the charisma to get away with anything. Everything seems to be going along perfectly, including his plans to ask out Gwen Kessler, as he enters into tenth grade at Apollo Central High School. Everything, that is, until a meteor crashes into the city, releasing the Seven Deadly Sinisters and their leader, Orpheus, from their celestial prison, and awakening Hamilton’s longtime dormant supernatural abilities. Suddenly Hamilton finds reluctantly allied with his self-declared mentor, Elysian, a changeling dragon, and Starry Knight, a beautiful but dangerous warrior, as they seek to protect the souls of Apollo City from the Sinisters and their evil intentions. Can Hamilton overcome his ignorance and narrow-mindedness to see what is truly real? Can he give up his self-proclaimed entitlement to happiness in order to follow the call of a duty he doesn’t want? More importantly, will he willingly sacrifice all he has to find out the truth?
The cowbell over the doorway clanked loudly, halting Rachel’s bubbly giggles. I looked up to see a woman, who could only be Rachel’s mother, walking in with a sour look on her face.
“Men are the stupidest things on the surface of Earth,” she announced to the whole gala of people, before making her way towards the bar.
“We’re not all bad, Letty!” an older man called out from the back, sending a fury of laughter fluttering through the crowd.
“Hi, Mom.” Rachel waved. I wasn’t sure, but there seemed to be some hesitancy behind her words.
From looking at the lady’s grim face, it was easy to see she’d just had a disastrous date. Her graying hair was messy, and her (probably) once-nice dress was windblown. “Hi, Rachel,” she greeted her brusquely before slumping down on a creaky chair.
“Bad date, I take it?” Rachel asked, getting a mug of strong coffee out for her mother.
I was bluntly amazed a woman like that could get a date at all.
Leticia—Letty—snorted. “You don’t want to know.” She shifted on the barstool and straightened out the wrinkles in her dress before sighing obnoxiously. “Oh, God! I used to be wealthy! But no, thanks to my brother and ex-husbands, I’m dashing around town in second-class clothing, living in the poor district like a welfare case, and going out on blind dates with men of the most insufferable kind!”
Huh. Dinner and a show.
Rachel gave her mother a sympathetic pat on the hand. “Don’t worry so much, Mom,” she said, putting on a bright smile. “You still have time to find a suitable date for my wedding.”
“Ha,” Letty huffed again. “Let me just say this, Rachel. You can count yourself very lucky, now that you’ve found yourself a half-decent man to marry. Nowadays, there aren’t too many of those walking around.” She dug into her expensive-looking knockoff purse and pulled out a cigarette. “If I had it my way, no man would walk at all.”
I felt a sudden rush of gratitude for the American justice system.
“Mom, no smoking in here,” Rachel reminded her. “And the doctor told you to stop. You already have high blood pressure.”
“Life is pressure, darling,” Letty sneered humorously, and that was when I first thought I might just like her enough to be amused. “Oh, why did I raise you to be so good?” she asked as she tossed her cigarette back into her purse.
“I’m sure you didn’t mean to.” Rachel laughed. “Here, I just tried a new recipe, and I want an honest opinion—and your opinion is as honest as they come, Mom.” Rachel gave her an apple crumble tart before disappearing into the kitchen.
About the Author
C.S. Johnson is the award-winning, genre-hopping author of several novels, including young adult sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me
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Purchase Link for SLUMBERING:
And the giveaway! Enter to win a print copy!