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Wednesday, June 9, 2021

YA Author Jane McGarry: Top Ten YA Bad Boys/Girls I’d like to hang out with for an afternoon + giveaway

Top Ten YA Bad Boys/Girls I’d like to hang out with for an afternoon

Lada from the And I Darken Series by Kiersten White. Lada is a female version of Vlad Dracul. She is aggressive almost to the point of being feral, but her love for her country and her passion in defending it adds a redeeming facet to her personality. I’d love a lesson in channeling her fighting skills and her confidence.

Hadrian from The Riyria Revelations series by Michael J. Sullivan. Hadrian is a thief and a mercenary who spends his days carrying out the dirty work of nobles when the series begins. Naturally, he is thrust right smack in the middle of dark magic adventure. Hadrian is comfortable with his life choices and makes no apologies. I’d love to hear about some of his more daring escapades.

Magnus from Falling Kingdoms Series by Morgan Rhodes. Magnus, the son of a brutal king, yearns to follow in his father’s footstep. He reminded me a lot of Kylo Ren from Star Wars—certain in his journey down the dark path. Much like Ren, a woman leads him to question everything. I’d enjoy getting to have an in depth conversation with someone, who despite a cruel streak, had a great sense of humor.

Victor Krum from Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling. Was Victor a bad boy? Those Durmstrang boys sure seemed intense if nothing less. And really, he was a huge Wizarding World Quidditch star. I’d love to have a butterbeer and hear all about his athletic prowess and what life was like at another Wizarding School.

Saf from Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore. Saf is another thief on my list, granted his kingdom was under the control of an evil king. In the end, he turns out to be more of a revolutionary than a bandit. I’d like to spend some time with him because honestly he was quite swoon-worthy and there are worse ways to spend an afternoon. And while we are at it…

Katsa from Graceling also by Kristin Cashore. Katsa lives in a kingdom where some people have Graces—supernatural gifts. Katsa’s has a Grace for killing and her uncle, the king, basically uses her as a thug. She grapples with coming to come to terms with reconciling her Grace and her conscience. I’d love to have a deep talk with her about broken childhoods and living in a world where you always feel different.

7. Johanna Mason from The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins. Admittedly, I read the books a while ago and may be confusing movie Johanna with book Johanna, but still, I love her whole “I’m just done with everyone” attitude. I think we could have a productive afternoon bi***fest with each other.

8. Aro from Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer. You know, I never really got into the whole “conflicted vampire” vibe of most of the main characters. Aro, on the other hand, was anything but conflicted—he was all in. He’s also been alive for who knows how many centuries. I’d love to pick his brain about everything he’s experienced over his immortal life (assuming I could stay off the menu!).

Timeus from Blood of Gods and Royals Series by Eleanor Herman. Tim is introduced as a scrawny, funny boy who must compete in a contest against mighty warriors. He uses his shrewdness and acrobatic skills to his advantage. From there, he turns dark, like wants to be inhabited by Smoke Magic kind of dark. I’d love to hear the story from his point of view and see what led him down such a bleak path.

Athos from my Not Every Girl Series. I know, it’s a bit of a plug, but he was my favorite character to write. An outlaw with a knack for self-preservation, he is likeable despite his moral ambiguity. There are some hints at his backstory, but I would love to sit with him for an afternoon and hear all about his time before my story starts!

See any names you recognize on the list? Have any you’d like to add? I’d love to connect and hear all about it!

A Prophecy of Wings
by Jane McGarry
May 18, 2021
Genre: YA Fantasy/Retelling
ISBN ebook: 978-1-7365884-0-6
ISBN print: 978-1-7365884-1-3
Number of pages: 382
Word Count: 71,000
Cover Artist: Graphics by Mulan Jiang
Two Fairies: One Destiny

A betrayal, a prophecy, a kingdom in the balance. Sixteen years ago the evil Dahlia overthrew the kingdom of Roshall Grove, the heart of the Fairy World. A prophecy foreseen by Edwina, a powerful enchantress, remains the only hope to topple her iron-fisted rule. Now, Lina, a simple peasant girl, learns her future is linked to this prophecy. Edwina brings Lina to the Fairy World to fulfill her destiny—conquering Queen Dahlia.

Separated from the enchantress by agents of the dark queen, Lina begins a perilous journey to join the Resistors, who await her return to mount their attack. Thrust into this strange world, Lina must navigate relations with a host of different fairies and animals, never knowing who seeks to help or to thwart her. Finally reunited with the Resistors, Lina must find the strength to lead her people and fulfill the prophecy. Meanwhile, Dahlia prepares for the battle, which will ultimately decide the survival of her reign, while reflecting on the path that brought her and her foe to this moment of reckoning.

A fairy tale with an ending twist, A Prophecy of Wings is loosely based on Thumbelina by Hans Christian Andersen and examines the ideas of predestined fates and the subsequent, sometimes unforeseen, consequences.

Excerpt - Prologue:
The pains came more frequently now. Even with the help of Edwina, it was a struggle to run. In the cramped darkness of the tunnel, she tried to maintain her footing, an impossible task with the burgeoning weight of her belly. Time was of the essence. They must not be caught, but the spasms were nearly unbearable.

“I can't go on,” she gasped, a sharp pang taking her breath away.

“Just a little bit further, Your Highness,” the enchantress coaxed.

Every step down the seemingly endless passageway was sheer torment. Queen Ivy willed herself to continue. She was the last hope for her people, and she must not fail.

Edwina stopped so abruptly; the queen stumbled into her back. The enchantress pulled the weakened monarch through a narrow gap in the wall. They crossed the threshold of a doorway into the depths underneath the forest. A tangle of tree roots filled the cavern, their sinuous forms dwarfing the fairies. A robust scent infused the air with bark, stone, and earth.

Queen Ivy, a Volant used to the skies, reeled at the unfamiliar smells and fell to her knees.

The enchantress, more experienced with Groundling habitats, remained unaffected and surveyed the area. She assisted the queen in a nook hidden between the sides of two large tree roots, which soared overhead out of sight to meet the tree's trunk somewhere way above.

“Wait here,” she instructed, a moot directive to her incapacitated companion.

While Edwina disappeared the way they came, Ivy settled down her awkward frame. How had it come to this? The past few months had turned her world upside down. Having one's sister hunt you like prey was horrifying enough, but targeting her baby for death rocked her to her very core. Instinctively, her hand flew to her stomach, the muscles again tightening with the tremors of labor.

Her friend returned, hair disheveled, wings drooping, and announced, “As far as I can tell, we may have lost them in the maze of tunnels. I have used cloaking measures along the way and put a spell on the door to keep others out. But your sister's powers are strong. If she were to find us…”

“She will find us. It is only a matter of time,” the queen declared. Dahlia learned enough in dark magic to track even a covered trail.

“Well, it is time for this baby, so here must do.”
Queen Ivy sighed, resigned to the situation. When she discovered she was with child all those months ago, she had not envisioned giving birth in a dark hole underground. The enchantress spread a blanket on the earth for the queen to lie down. She checked the progress of the baby and nodded.

“It is time. You need to push.”

Above all, the baby must survive. Otherwise, the prophecy would remain unfulfilled, and the kingdom would never be restored. The monarch braced herself against one sturdy root; the surface felt surprisingly warm and smooth. Under the calm direction of her lifelong friend, she delivered the child.

Edwina laid the baby girl into her arms. Ivy admired the feathery blond hair and the round little nose. Tears welled in her eyes at the sheer perfection of the infant. The enchantress finished tending to the mother and turned her attention to the newborn. After a quick examination, she ripped a length of fabric off Ivy's skirt to wrap her. “You could not have asked for a healthier daughter. Now, what shall her name be?”

“Her name?” the queen pondered. "I’ve not thought of one. All I have thought of is her safety.”

Before Edwina responded, they heard it—the rattle of armor. Soldier’s footsteps approached, their faint clinking unmistakable. Both women froze in terror.

“She has found us,” Ivy whispered in dread, her arms tightening around the baby.

“Perhaps not. Perhaps it is King Theros on his way to tell us he defeated Dahlia.”

The footsteps grew louder.

“No,” the queen affirmed. “It is my sister. I feel her presence. You must take the baby to the other world and keep her safe until the time is right. Dahlia cannot follow you there.”

The soldier’s armor rang loudly in their ears. They came to a halt right outside the doorway.

“Come then,” the enchantress conceded, holding out a hand to help her friend rise.

“No. I must stay and try to defeat Dahlia. Take her.” She thrust the infant into Edwina’s arms. “Go now.”

Loud hammering filled the air with the enemy’s attempt to break the door down.

“But My Queen, she will show you no mercy. I will not leave you here to die.”

Queen Ivy leaned forward and placed her hands on her friend’s, which cradled the child. She slipped the crystal-bound amulet inside the swaddling. “Yes, Edwina, you must. I command it. Take her now and keep her safe.”

The enchantress desperately tried to think of another way. Axes and spears crashed upon the door, weakening her spell with every stroke. Sadly, she stepped back and conjured the words to transport her between the worlds, a power only she possessed in the entire kingdom.

The new mother watched the toss of the seeds, and Edwina’s frantically whispered spell. A cloud of dust encircled her friend and her baby. Too weak to even stand, she blinked through her tears. Just before the two vanished, she said, “Lina. I want her to be named Lina.”

Edwina nodded, the final wish heard, and with a poof, they were gone.

The door finally gave way, a multitude of soldiers pouring in, their armor dark as night. Queen Ivy turned to see her sister step through the broken threshold. Dahlia scrutinized the scene, the queen’s deflated belly and the cloud of dust on the ground. Her eyes narrowed in malice. The baby was beyond her reach—for now. She met Queen Ivy’s eyes and despised the look of triumph in them.

“Kill her,” Dahlia ordered.

The queen whispered one last anguished prayer for her daughter before an arrow pierced her heart.

About the Author:

Reading was always a big part of Jane’s life. Creating her own stories developed out of this love. To date she has published the Not Every Girl trilogy, a YA Fantasy Adventure. Her latest novel, A Prophecy of Wings, is a retelling of the classic fairy tale, Thumbelina. She lives in New Jersey with my husband, two sons and two extremely spoiled cats. When she is not running around with her family or writing, she can be found curled up with a good book and said cats.

A Prophecy of Wings is a spellbinding Young Adult fairy tale retelling with a twist. A prophecy names her heir to a lost throne. An evil queen hunts her. A kingdom’s fate rests in her hands and the sacrifice may be her life. Available at: #yafantasy #fairytaleretelling #youngadultretelling #retelling #yabooks #yareads #newrelease

Tour Giveaway
3 signed paperback copies to US resident

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful cover! I would add the gang from Shatter Me series by Mafi