Siege of Sol Countdown!

It’s approximately 24 days until the third book in the Guardians of Illyria series is released! I know, I know–you’re super excited and you can’t wait to read it! Soooo in honor of its upcoming release, I will be posting small excerpts from throughout the novel everyday here on my blog! BUT WAIT! DON’T PEE YOUR BRITCHES YET, CHILDENZ! I will also be holding a giveaway on Goodreads for the first book to the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States starting within the next week!

So, to kick-start this little countdown of mine, here’s a snippet from the first chapter of Ion’s (aka the new Thunder Lord of the Endari):

The winds continued to howl around my waist and legs, the rain continuing to fall. I’d been watching Esereez’s troops march across the deserts of the Southernlands for a little less than a year now, ever since I’d left the ranks of my fellow Guardians on Illyria. The soldiers’ mission was to intercept envoys and traders travelling between the Last Citadels—the ten remaining cities that belonged to the humans.

But today, their mission will not see its completion.

It was an order.

They wouldn’t be expecting me, not at this hour, on this day. Nor would they be expecting what I was about to do next…

As they continued to trudge across the swampy earth beneath them, I descended from the clouds until I could see past their polished silver helmets, into the shimmering ball bearings that served as their eyes.

One saw me, and screamed, “Halt!” its mechanical voice cutting through the air.

And instantly the soldiers stopped. They stood silently for a moment, calculating the turn of events.

“It’s the Traitor!” one of them shouted.

“Strike him down!” called another. “Kill him by order of Skylord Othum!”

Even Othum wants me struck down now?

I detected a sudden shift in the atmosphere—particles of electricity building in the insides of their spears. The buzzing of the electricity filled my sensitive ears, clouding my thoughts.

As their spears fast approached their full charge, I threw my head back. I shifted my jaw and felt it pop out of its socket like a snake’s would before devouring its prey. A Dark move of the Balance taught to me by a Dark god, drawn from anger and sorrow and hate. I snapped my head forward, and when I opened my mouth, it stretched down past my chest. A torrent of hissing ice, snow, and hail flooded out of my mouth, materializing from the very breath I exhaled. It flooded over the Inventor’s soldiers, a blizzard in the middle of the High Heat that froze the soldiers in their place. A web of frost crept over my lips, snaking across my cheeks and up to my eyes, caking my eyebrows in ice.
The river of snow, wind, and sleet stopped as I retracted my unhinged jaw, and I popped it back into place with my hand. It hurt the first time I’d done it, but now it was as natural as any other Dark move I’d learned.

The winds lowered me to the soldiers, and at once my feet reached the frozen earth, I marched through the ranks. Their spears and shields were held so high. As though it would’ve done them any good. I stopped in the middle of them, and waited…

My sensitivities to the atmosphere weren’t limited to the building of electrical charges or the sight of rain through the darkness behind my eyelids. I could feel my frost creeping through every inch of these soldiers’ gears and limbs too, hear it infecting them like a virus.

Regret washed over me in place of the hate I’d summoned to rain destruction upon the High Heat.
“What have you started, Ion?” Father would have said, his steely eyes barreling into me.

I clenched my iron jaw, listening to the angry rumbles of thunder in the clouds above—the sounds replying to my emotion. But as regretful as I was, I was less so than I thought I’d be. You’ve been numbed, Ion, I told myself. I could sense it even in my own thoughts. But I had to be at this point. For this was what must be done. And what must be done required sacrifices.

I silenced my regret with a deep breath, one that ceased the thunder and negated the falling rain in only a second.

She must not know of the regret I have. It would’ve ruined everything I’d worked for. Unravel every stitch in the fabric of my plan.

A hand fell upon my shoulder, heavy but gentle all the same. Motherly. But deceiving.
“It is done,” she said, her voice sweet and caring. “You’re finally ready.”


Exclusive IJB Read!

Here’s an excerpt from my bestselling middle grade novel, The Iron-Jawed Boy. This is yet another scene where I really got to play with visuals. And spiders.

And then he saw it…something…multiple somethings…long and leathery arms creeping out a hole in the middle of the ceiling. They slithered down the walls, into the reach of the moonlight, and Ion gasped. They weren’t arms. They were vines—fat, green vines veiled in bulbous, throbbing zits.

Ion took to the middle of his bed, somewhere in between panic and utter confusion.

More vines spilled down the walls, until the walls could no longer be seen.

Ion focused and as the hairs on his arms rose, out from their tips whipped thin bolts of electricity. The vines washed down onto the floor, and Ion tightened his fists, the electricity growing thicker.

The hissing came from all around, and then, pop, pop, pop like the violent death of a balloon bouquet. Ion could only watch now as the throbbing zits on the vines exploded with green juices…and hairy, black spiders.

He screamed as spiders sprayed through the air, landing on his bed, his tunic, and a few on his face. Ion fired lightning in every which direction, but with each bolt and crack of thunder that came, so followed more pops and more spiders. When the vines coiled around the legs of his bed, the spiders gathered at the end of Ion’s mattress, right there on the sheets, climbing on top of one another, until a great tower of black, hairy legs and fangs stood before him. He fell back in horror, and the spiders fell away to the floor, leaving in their wake a teenage girl with blazingly red hair, and green eyes that burned with a vengeance.


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Excerpt from IJB

As more reviews come rolling in (all 4-5 stars thank Jesus, Joseph and Mary) I’ve decided to start posting excerpts from The Iron-Jawed Boy every week. Hold your applause, hold your applause ;). Here’s a tidbit from Chapter 14, which comes just after my favorite fight sequence, and is one of my favorite visual scenes of the book. I absolutely love storms, so whenever I get to write about them I pee my pants at least twice.

Ion slowly turned to face Spike, who was struggling to his feet. Ion stretched out his arms, and a mighty gale battered the coliseum like whisks beating the inside of a bowl. The winds tightened around his waist and wrists, and a funnel cloud of dirt and grass lifted him from the floor until he was fifty feet above the field.

He stared down at Spike, his head filled with thoughts—angry, unforgiving thoughts. He teased you, Ion. Made you feel small. Made you feel inferior. Show him.

Show him what you can do.

“Ionikus!” Esereez shouted from below. “I demand you come down from there right this moment! Flight is not permitted for a novice such as yourself!”

Ion’s gaze snapped toward the Inventor and a sharp bolt of wind blasted Esereez right over his seat.

“I surrender!” Spike squeaked from below, waving his hands helplessly in the air. “You win, Ion!”

But Ion didn’t care. He looked to the heavens, and the single cloud above exploded with a monstrous roar. Clouds rolled and expanded out of the original, thunder cracking with each new squall that pushed out over the Acropolis until the sky grew dark as night.

“Ion!” Oceanus cried. “I demand you stop this at once! You shouldn’t be controlling clouds at your level, either!”

But Ion unwound his fists and gripped two lots of the sky. His hands felt as though they really were wrapped around something—something invisible but as solid as rock. He pulled downward, a weight falling on his shoulders, and two whirling funnel clouds came twisting down from the clouds. The twisters groaned as they struck the coliseum floor, tearing the dirt and grass up from its place. Spike latched himself to the battlefield—Oceanus and Esereez clung to their seats.

Ion’s jaw was searing hot. So hot, in fact, it felt as though it was burning the skin underneath. It was just as angry as he was.

Show him, Ion thought. Show him his place.

Ion snapped his arm forward, pointing at Spike. With a blast of thunder, a bolt of green lightning tore down from the clouds and struck Spike where he stood.

Oceanus screamed. Rain battered the coliseum.

Ion looked to his sister, her eyes now filled with tears. They were afraid and uncertain, and the anger that had claimed Ion vanished as quickly as it had come, replaced by nothing but emptiness. The rush of power left his body, and as he fell back down to earth, his vision went black.