Friday, July 7, 2017

Excerpt from Children of Neptune

Children of Neptune
Children of Neptune, Book 1
By Makenna Snow
YA Fantasy
Champagne Books:


“Get me out of here,” she whispered. Jet crept along the ancient stone passage and waited for instructions. Inky blackness closed in as her heart hammered in her chest.

“Come on,” she said, teeth clenched. She had no choice but to stop—if she took a wrong turn, she’d be discovered and her plans ruined. At last, a voice reached her.

“It’s the next left, and you’re free all the way to Sofana Park.” There was no audible sound with his words, just what Jet could hear in her own mind. She followed the dark tunnel until she reached a wall with iron rungs forming a ladder. She climbed to the top and pushed away the large stone blocking her exit. Blinking against the harsh sunlight, she emerged from the tunnel, then returned the stone and hurried along the path leading away from her prison.

Shell fragments crunched under her sandals, and the wind whipped her long, dark hair around her head. The promise of the sea hinted the air, and Jet ran, her heart skipping with excitement. At last, her co-conspirator’s sleek, black body emerged from the forest, and she grinned. “Peppercorn, now isn’t the time to hunt. You have to help me get back so I’m not late.”

Her pet sable stared at her with his brown eyes and snorted. Peppercorn’s entire body was covered in luxurious, black fur, save for a tuft of white on his head. “You’re the one who needed a break.”

She rolled her eyes at his admonition. She had been able to enComm—communicate with him telepathically—for years, and he never missed an opportunity to set her straight. “You sound like the king. We’ve been through this. I need to get out of there once in a while. If I don’t, the walls close in on me.”

Peppercorn darted along the path in front of her. “The king and queen have a lot to worry about right now, but I will always help you, Jet.”

“You take good care of me. Thanks, Peppercorn…though it sounds like you’re eavesdropping through walls again?” she said. “Besides, I know you like to hunt too much to be satisfied with palace food.”

He had no response but another snort. They hurried along the path. Jet flung off her sandals as the shells gave way to pink sand. They’d emerged from the cover of forest onto a deserted beach. She ran to the water.

She dove into the surf and swam. Feeling the familiar pull at her core, her body hummed, her skin tightened and smoothed, and her heart rate slowed. She shifted to her water form and became stronger, faster, and lighter. She let the powerful sensation envelop her, relishing the sense of belonging she felt in the water. She found one of the underwater tunnels leading to the world outside her safe bubble.

Exiting the stone tunnel, she entered larger body of water called Indigo Lake. Cutting through the clear water, the village of Aurealia sat below, protected in the half bubble of air beneath the crystalline Shield. Neptune had provided the Shield to safeguard her people—the descendants of Neptune himself.

And safe was just what Jet’s life was. As a princess, she had trained since childhood for the duties she’d one day assume as queen. At sixteen, those duties seized center stage, with public appearances ruling her days. She pushed the limits of her breath, her chest tight as she picked up speed before swimming to the surface. She’d be late for today’s session if she didn’t get back home. After sighing, she took a huge breath and dove down, headed for home.

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