GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ WIP it Real Good with Young Adult Fantasy Author Valerie Storm + giveaway | I Smell Sheep

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

WIP it Real Good with Young Adult Fantasy Author Valerie Storm + giveaway


Raven’s smile widened a sickening degree; Kari half expected her mouth to split at the ends and unravel.

“You’re the one. Not this sack of flesh and bone. You are my one.” She leaned against the barrier, pressing her cheek against it, eyes never leaving Kari. It was as if she couldn’t get close enough. “Come here, little demon. Why are you with the worms? Remake the world with me.”

Kari crossed her arms, to steady herself as well as to appear unbothered; yet her voice cracked when she spoke. “How did you get out of your prison?”

Mouth split from ear to ear, a low chuckle bred in Raven’s throat and died there. She brought one hand to her cheek and dug her nails in, dragging down as she spoke. “Well…this little creature came calling, and I answered.”

Kari stepped back, her arms dropping and her stomach twisting as blood dribbled down Raven’s torn cheek.

So, I’m working on book 8, the final book in Kari’s series. It’s a way off, but I want Fate of the Storm to be beyond ready when it’s time for editing! This scene is from past the halfway point—Kari has left home seeking the True Big Bad of the series, and runs into Raven, her arch nemesis.

Fate of the Storm has been a bit of a thorn in my side. More than any other, this book has the biggest impact on the land and the characters and it’s been intimidating to get everything *just right*. I have some confidence I’ll get it where it needs to be before I need to send it to my editors for publishing (I’ve got something like a year and a half left, plenty of time!), but it’s still scary.

Even saying that, I love the small moments like this—I am so proud of where these characters have gone and how they’ve gotten here, and when readers get there, I hope they feel the same way.

Heart of the Storm (Demon Storm Book Four)
by Valerie Storm
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Shadow Spark Publishing
ISBN: ISBN: 978-1-956883-14-5
Number of pages:410
Word Count:101219
Cover Artist: @Ginkahederling
A fresh start. An old home, new again. And a new evil to match.

Crimson eyes and dark wings. Together, they'll be terrible. Can she break free?

Their light is broken. When a new darkness rises, will they overcome it?

More than night terrors keep Kari awake at night. Ari languishes beside her, broken by the horrors Raven bestowed upon him.

She hopes he heals, and soon.

When a familiar presence and an unexplainable human with magic happen upon their doorstep, Kari and Ari make a decision: leave Raziac Village in search of answers and a new home.

But the heart eater waits for them.

Kari pushed away her steak, half-eaten. “Can this place be real?”

Rathik looked up from his turkey. “Sometimes I can’t believe it myself, and I headed the revolution.”

Ari leaned over his plate, eyes widening. “You did? How?”

“From within the town itself. I was on the guard. I hid myself, too.” Rathik looked at Kari. “My commanding officer believed I had a skin disease.”

A sudden memory pricked her attention. The day she’d run into a guard in Snow Shade—after stealing the magic book for Kiki—she’d glimpsed scales on that man’s face and forgotten all about it.

Guine snorted. “Nice.”

Rathik inclined his head. “My position enabled me to sneak demons in. I was just trying to help sickly ones at first. Eventually my name—different than the one I used as a guard—became infamous.” He laughed, shaking his head, and took a sip of ale.

“I…I remember your name. Rathik.” Kari wracked her brain, remembering the first bolt of lightning she had called down; it had been glorious, though it also represented the first time she had felt the burning fire of the Catalyst. She’d been attacked by a demon yelling about a Rathik.

Rathik grimaced. “I became a rallying point for many demons in the north, and it wasn’t long until the Lord Isaac was looking for me.”

Kari, nodded, recalling that, too.

“Lord Isaac became frantic, especially when a man and his wife were found dead in their homes. He ordered searches, and it wasn’t long before my friends were found out. One died, trying to protect the others.”

Kari’s throat tightened. Ari shifted so she could grab his arm. Guine glanced at them.

“It was me,” she muttered in a hoarse whisper.

“What?” Rathik asked.

“It was my fault your friend died. I…I was the one who killed those two humans.”

She’d had no choice, she’d told herself, yet that hadn’t been true. How many times had Kiki tried to convince her they could run away without leaving any bodies behind? And Kari had refused, sure that killing Anne and Joseph was the only true way to honor her parents.

If she’d listened, Kiki may have lived, and Rathik’s friend wouldn’t have died.

Rathik leaned over the table. “No. Trust me, Kari. It was only a matter of time before Lord Isaac snapped. Even Dorn, from Isaac’s council, said he was well on his way to madness without anyone’s help.”

“He’s right,” Ari said, rubbing her. “Even we’d heard some stories in Raziac. You aren’t to blame for his actions.”

Kari caught Guine’s eye, his expression indiscernible, then frowned at her plate.

Rathik nodded. “His own people saw it. Some of them helped us, guiding our peaceful speeches to fellow humans, and reconciling began. Now we have this.”

He waved his hand, gesturing at the room.

“Even though I’d heard of the revolution, I can hardly believe my eyes,” Ari said. “This place is unimaginable.”

About the Author:
Valerie Storm was raised in Tucson, Arizona. Growing up, she fell in love with everything fantasy. When she wasn’t playing video games, she was writing. By age ten, she began to write her own stories as a way to escape reality. When these stories became a full-length series, she considered the path to sharing with other children & children at heart looking for a place to call home.

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