Hello! My name is Sara, and I’m one of the editors here at Book Series Recaps. I’ve been working on my novel This Dreamer for a little over five years. Finally, it’s ready to share with the world! As I search for an agent, I thought I might offer a sneak-peek for you to read for free and beg for your feedback. I would love to know what you think. Your comments could help me land an agent!
By the way, this novel falls into the YA fantasy genre.
1 – The Watcher
What a strange feeling, being miraculously knit together: unwoven, and then made whole again.
Evie felt the fiber of her mortal body pull tight in completion as the sudden pressure of solid earth sent her arms wide. She stepped back, but not quickly enough. Her backside hit the ground with a thud.
Eyes still closed, she reached out and brushed her tingling fingers over the soft grass and breathed in the fresh-cut smell.
Evie cracked her eyes open, dark lashes fluttering against her cheeks in the brilliant light. She sucked in a breath and marveled at the heat on her skin. The sun. She’d never felt anything quite like it. Like a gentle caress from the heavens.
This was the moment for which she’d been waiting. Today was to be her day—a day to celebrate her first time on the ground.
But that was before they snatched her dreams away.
She’d been so angry. So hurt. She’d acted impulsively.
What have I done?
Evie’s breathing shallowed, and she put her head in her hands. There was no turning back now.
She took a steadying breath, assuring herself that she would be back before anyone knew she was gone.
Raising her head, she lifted an arm to expose her palm to the wondrous heat.
Evie gaped at her once pale hand. Her skin, now a rich honey tone, glowed in the golden light as she rotated her wrist. Joram had prepared her for the fact that she would look different on the ground, but seeing it was something altogether different.
Even if they hadn’t wished it to be, today would be a day of firsts just as she had planned. Her first time on the ground, her first time in a mortal body, her first time in the sun. Standing, she took in this small piece of the world. Striking green surrounded her.
She found herself in a grassy meadow dotted with a smattering of yellow flowers. Rustling trees enveloped the space, and beyond that, enormous skyscrapers towered in a rectangle like unmoving guardians. A city park, then. Evie turned in a slow circle and felt a timid smile tug at her lips. She couldn’t have stopped the silly grin if she wanted to.
I’m finally here.
Her boots scraped on a rigid surface. Below her, a circular metal disk stood out among the spongy blades. How could the humans not realize a portal peeked from the green here in plain sight? A foreign dot on the otherwise vibrant landscape.
A warm breeze picked up the tendrils of her long, dark hair, and Evie closed her eyes to feel it brush her cheeks, her arms. She wondered at the invisible air that tickled her skin.
But even as she stood serene, her smile faded. What if they realized she was gone? What would they do? This trip was not authorized, and Evie supposed that no other Watcher in all of eternity had ever disobeyed so blatantly. She opened her eyes again.
A strange pounding sensation was at her ears.
It was coming from her. Placing a hand over her heart, Evie felt the quick rhythmic motion. From her studies, she knew it to be an indication of the blood that thrummed through this body. Her smile returned. Oh, how she’d dreamed of this moment—standing on the ground in a mortal body. The beating slowed as Evie put her crimes out of her mind. She traced a finger down the blue veins at her wrist.
Evie started as a throat cleared behind her. “Are you about done inspecting yourself?” A laugh then, “Your face looks like you can’t decide on an emotion…as usual, I suppose. You’ll pass brilliantly as a human.”
Evie turned to Joram, ready to defend her immortal solidity, but forgot his jab as she stood stunned at his altered appearance. He watched her, amused, a few paces away. Clearly, he hadn’t fallen flat upon arrival. His skin was the same golden tone as hers. His hair was several shades darker than usual, and his eyes were a light blue. Despite these alterations, his features were much the same, and his build was as tall and familiar as always. Joram raised an eyebrow at her silent inspection.
Evie’s cheeks warmed—another new sensation—and she looked away. Ignoring him, she rotated in a slow circle; arms spread wide.
“This is amazing,” she breathed. “Exactly as I imagined.” And she had imagined it. Many times. She took a deep breath, the earthy smell of grass and trees filling her lungs.
She turned back to Joram, “Do I look like myself in the same way you do?”
“Yes, but your skin and hair are darker, like mine. Your eyes, though,” he gestured toward Evie’s face, “they’re still gold.” Joram reached into his pocket and produced a pair of dark sunglasses. “I didn’t have time to program you to Sector Five blue.” He rolled his eyes. “You’ll need to wear these while we’re here.”
Evie took the shades and put them on, her idiotic grin back in place. “How do I look?”
“You look great,” Joram laughed. “Now, let’s get going before someone sees you twirling about.” He took off down a well-manicured stone path toward the noisy street ahead.
Evie smirked at his back and jogged to catch up.
“Joram, will they forgive me for this?”
She whipped her head toward him, and he laughed again.
“Oh, I’m kidding. How should I know?” He shrugged. “It’s irrelevant because they’re not going to find out. Look, you’re here. You wanted this. You might as well enjoy it.”
He was right; she should enjoy herself. There was so much to see and do. And she had every intention of catching at least a glimpse of one particular mortal. It was for her research, of course. That’s what she always told herself, even at her desk in the Control Room. This was her chance to see the Dreamer with her own eyes.
Thinking about this impending research, she felt the corners of her mouth turn up. Curiously, her mortal heart thudded a little faster.
2 – The Dreamer
Adan sucked in a breath as consciousness plunged him back into reality.
The force of his body’s awakening jarred his desk, and his heavy books crashed to the floor. His hand flew to his chest, where it thundered, unharmed. His breathing came in great heaves as he took in the startled faces around him.
Oh no. Not again.
The real fear he’d felt melted as grins and sneers replaced the student’s shocked faces. Girls giggled, and some of the guys laughed outright. Others eyed his hand on his chest. He pulled it back under his desk.
To make matters worse, Mr. Krebs was making his way over.
Causing a flurry of movement as students shuffled their cell phones out of sight, he asked. “Adan, were you sleeping in my class again?”
Adan glanced around. There was no denying it. “Yes, sir.” He mumbled. “I didn’t get much sleep last night.”
“That’s twice in the last week, and Mrs. Stone said you’d done the same in her class.”
“Sorry. It won’t happen again.”
Mr. Krebs gave Adan a worried look as he placed the books back on the desk. “Maybe a call to your parents is in order.” He walked away up the row of students.
Adan fought the urge to say, “Yeah, well, if you find my parents let me know,” but decided he’d drawn enough attention to himself.
Against his will, his eyes flicked across the room to where Garran sat hugely in his tiny desk. Their eyes met, and Adan could see the same thought ready on his lips. But it probably would have come out more like, “I’m not sure you’ll find them, Mr. Krebs, since Adan’s mom left him at a shelter seventeen years ago.” But Garran looked away after a moment, disgust plain on his face.
Jealousy didn’t sit well on the overgrown man-child. Their Guardian gave Adan what the other boy thought should be his. Never mind the fact that Adan didn’t want it.
Finally, the bell rang, signaling the end of the day. Adan packed his things, not missing the continued sneers from his classmates.
The hallway cleared as Adan swapped out books from his locker. Students were rushing off to one party or another. The city would be packed to the brim as people traveled in to celebrate the Festival of Alvar. Parties would spring up all across Shura on this holiday weekend.
Slamming his locker, he turned to leave when someone barreled into his arm. Adan sucked in a breath at the well-placed blow.
“Didn’t see you there, Dreamer.” Garran spat the word like a curse. “How’s the arm?”
Probably bleeding now. “What do you want, Garran?”
Garran stepped closer. “I know you think you’re better than everyone—Uzziah’s golden child. I have no idea why he keeps you and your brat little brother around,” Adan bristled at the mention of Ben, but Garran wasn’t done. “But I can tell you one thing. You’re a Dreamer—whatever that is—but you’re marked by a Strength Wielder. You’re going to be a disappointment to every person you come across.”
Anger and denial bubbled up inside Adan, but he clamped his mouth shut. There were secrets he had to hold close.
He weighed his options. Usually, Adan would stand his ground, fight if needed. But no one without the Strength Gift would be foolish enough to square off against a Strength Wielder.
“Hey, what’s going on down there?” Both boys whipped their heads toward the voice echoing down the hall. Their principal, Mr. Kelsey, strode toward them, dress shoes clicking on the worn linoleum floor.
Garran’s face lit with a smile. He turned, slinging an arm over Adan’s shoulder.
Adan hissed at the pressure but fought to keep his expression neutral.
Garran called out, “Oh nothing. Just having a discussion.”
When the man reached them, he took in their faces, likely noting that Adan didn’t share Garran’s ease. “Boys, there’s no fighting on the school campus.”
Garran laughed. “Oh no, we weren’t fighting. Only a minor disagreement. I’m headed out anyway.” He extracted his arm from Adan’s shoulder. “Did you know Adan fell asleep in English again?” He shook his head in disappointment and started down the hall.
Adan could see he was about to get another lecture. But before Mr. Kelsey could begin, Garran yelled back as he pushed out the double doors. “See you tonight, Adan.” It was a promise.
Thanks for reading the first two chapters of This Dreamer! I’m excited to move on to the next stage of the novel-writing process. So, what did you think? Please let me know in the comments. Did it capture your interest, or do I need to go back to the drawing board?
Back of the Book Blurb:
Evie grows restless observing mortals from the safety of her desk in the Control Room. Though it’s against the rules, she jumps at the chance to meet Adan, the human Dreamer. Only a glimpse, she promises herself.
Adan, a misfit among twelve Guardian-trained rich kids, curses the visions that plague his sleep. All he wants is to be normal: hang out with friends, do homework, take care of his little brother, and, most of all, not wake from a nightmare in the middle of history class. Adan’s Guardian says his dreams reveal the future. Surely not, though, because they seem to indicate that Adan will die at the end of a golden blade.
But, Adan’s life takes a curious turn when a beautiful stranger, Evie, sits next to him in the park. She seems reluctant to speak to him, yet eventually, she does.
When Evie’s return to the Control Room is delayed, she finds herself in a heap of trouble. Not only did she take an unsanctioned trip into the city, but she also conversed with a human. When that boy, the Dreamer, turns up missing, all blame is placed squarely at Evie’s feet.
Evidence soon places Adan in Sector Six, where Gifted humans and immortals are forbidden. Wearing a human body and wielding a golden blade, Evie is ordered to travel to this uncharted territory, find Adan, and take care of the problem. As she searches, she discovers that the boy was smuggled here for a reason, and perhaps his elusive captor is a threat to them all. If Evie doesn’t find Adan in the allotted time, the Control Room will seal her way home, banishing her alone and a human until the slow grip of mortality should claim her.
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Don’t forget to let me know what you think!