Book Excerpt

Okay so I have a quick backstory on this:
So I went to a writing conference that was quite amazing, so I decided to put fanfiction aside (Don’t judge, I don’t write the weird stuff) and write a proper book, so here we go. Here’s the first chapter, and if you want more just tell me and I’ll try to do it.

 

In chess, there are 32 pieces. 30 of these pieces go around the board, killing and sacrificing themselves to protect the king.

The king, however, hides, darting around the board to avoid the inevitable. He is a coward.

Some people say chess is a man’s game, because it requires skill and intelligence, something women seemingly don’t have.

But there is no argument when you say the most powerful piece is the queen.

 

* * * * * * * * * *

 

I wake up to sunlight streaming on my face, kissing my haze of sleep away. I open my eyes slowly and look at the open window. I sigh. I want to go back to sleep, but I can’t, so I grudgingly crawl out of the warm bed. Without really registering what I’m doing, I go into my large walk-in closet and grab whatever’s closest to my hands and throw it on.

I walk out of my room with my hair as neat as I can get it, which automatically means my brown locks are still slightly curly. I take the familiar steps down the long corridor, through a door, down a dark spiral staircase, and through yet another corridor to the dining room, where Grandfather, Mom, and Lenny are already starting on breakfast. Lenny looks over to me when the door shuts, his face immediately brightening. “Kairi!” He yells happily, “you’re up early for once!” I groan and nod.

“I’m not planning on making a habit of it.” I promise, sitting down at the long table next to him.

Lenny laughs. “Ha, wouldn’t expect you to.” I grab a banana from the bowl in front of me, peeling it. Mom looks across the table at me.

“Is that all you ever eat, Kairi?” She asks, a slight tone of disapproval laced in her voice.

“No, it’s not all I eat.” I insist drily.

Her eyebrows raise. “What else do you eat, then?”

“Uhh..” I have to think for a moment before answering, “I eat strawberries.”

She shakes her head. “Have something else, please.” I groan and bang my head on the table. Lenny laughs at my misery.

“Aunt Katrina,” he begins, “our dear Kairi doesn’t do new foods.” Mom shakes her head.

“You need a balanced breakfast.” She insists. I shake my head stubbornly.

“I like bananas.” I say. She shakes her head.

“Whatever, Kairi. I’m done fighting with you.” I smirk inwardly at my triumph. I hear Grandfather chuckle slightly, but when I look over to him, he’s already resumed eating. I shrug and finish my banana, afterwards picking up another one. I eat my next three in silence, Lenly trying to make me laugh. He fails spectacularly, with me just sitting there, looking at him with a cold stare as I slowly devour my bananas. I finish, and stand up, Lenny standing as well.

“We going?” He asks. I nod. “On an adventure?” I nod again. He jumps up and punches the air. “Ya hoo!” He shouts joyfully. I smile slightly and roll my eyes. I make a good bye gesture towards Mom, and she mimics me.

“Don’t get into too much trouble, you two.” Lenny laughs.

“No promises, Aunt Katrina.” I grab his hand and drag him out the door. He waves bye to the two adults as we leave. I drop his hand when we clear the door, and he bounces happily along beside me.

Lenny is a little ball of energy, bright as the sun, and just as blinding. It’s surprising that he’s not Light. But Ariel makes a good fit for Light, she’s so peaceful. I wonder if I’ll be Dark. I’m pulled out of thoughts as a bright green and yellow blur flies into my arms, and hands wrap around my neck, knocking me to the ground.

“It’s just awful Kairi!” A shrill voice screeches. It’s my cousin, Elizabeth.

“What’s awful?” I ask, her surprising weight keeping me from getting up.

“I lost my book!” That doesn’t surprise me. Elizabeth’s always losing things.

“Which book?” I have seen some books lying around.

“Old Yeller! My favorite!” She laments, sitting on me. I sigh.

“No clue.”

“Well help me find it!” She shouts, grabbing my shirt and pulling me close to her face. A hand gently grabs her shoulder and pries her off.

“Sorry Kairi.” Skylar apologizes for his twin. “You know how she gets, Old Yeller is her favorite book.” He and Elizabeth really are twins, especially in the light of the large windows. Both with soft yellow hair, light blue eyes and short, incredibly short. I get up and brush invisible dust from my legs and nod.

“I know. I’ll help you tomorrow if you still can’t find it, okay?” Elizabeth nods glumly.

“Fine.” She agrees sadly. Skylar drapes his arm arm over his twin and sends a blast of wind my way as a way of a wave good bye.

Skylar is a Natural, control over Wind. He flaunts it at me all the time, he’s younger than me and both of them have their Affinity already. Lenny notices my hair all over the place and laughs, smoothing it down for me.

“He always gets you, doesn’t he?” He asks. I nod.

“He just loves flaunting that in my face.” He nods in agreement.

“I can see why.” I’m not paying attention, and walk straight into a tall figure, dressed in black.

“Good morning to you too, Kairi.” A soft voice says. I look up and there’s Drake, my cousin. I groan and he hugs me. My face only goes to his chest, and I have to look up at him.

“Morning, Drake.” I say, my voice muffled by his skinny chest. He releases me and, I get a good look at his face. Drake is a long willow tree, and just about as moody. As far as I’ve seen in my twelve years, the only person he’s shown any affection to is me. It’s weird, he’s removed from even his mother, Aunt Bella.

“Morning Drake!” Lenny says happily. Drake nods at him as I step back.

“Good Morning, Lenny.” He says softly. “You’re taking your test today, correct?” He asks me. I gasp.

“I forgot all about it!” He chuckles softly and looks at me like he expected me to forget all along.

“That’s like you. Mom is waiting for you in the courtyard, you better go.” I nod and turn back around to the corridor that leads to the courtyard, and Lenny turns to go with me before Drake adds, “She’s going to want to see you alone, you know. No observers.” That was directed towards Lenny, I know. I look back at him just in time to see him visibly deflate, his happy attitude immediately gone. I smile at him.

“You can wait outside, you know that. That’s what we did for Elizabeth and Skylar, remember?” He nods, but still is sad.

“I know, but this is special! This is your Affinitis Test!”

Each member of our family has an Affinity. The Afiinities have been ever since before anyone can remember. There are fourteen Affinities. Earth, Wind, Water, Ice, Plant, Fire, Dark, Light, Spirit, Soul, Death, Sound, Mind, and Thought. Each Affinity manifests itself once every generation, and only once. Grandfather is Earth, and trains May, the newest Earth, and so forth. When the older generation sees that someone is already showing Affinity, they get the test. Some get it earlier than others, like Elizabeth and Skylar who are a year younger than me, and already have had their tests.

Everyone thinks I’ll be Dark. Really, all that’s left this generation is Spirit and Dark, and no one thinks I have the temperament for Spirit. That’s going to go to Lenny, I know it. That’s why Aunt Bella is giving me the test, she’s the current Dark Affinitis, as well as Drake’s mother.

As we walk down yet another long corridor, the only sound is Lenny’s and I’s soft footsteps on the dark floor. We’re both nervous, and I can’t tell why Lenny is. It’s not his Affinitis Test. I voice my unease after a while. “Why are you so nervous?” He shrugs.

“I don’t really know. It’s not my test, so why am I worried? We both know what you’re going to be.” I nod, we do. “And we both know what I’ll eventually be, the test is simply a formality, so why am I nervous for you?” He looks at me, and I stick out my hand to grasp his. He takes it and our sweat mingles together on our palms. He smiles at me, sticking out his tongue. His face is specially formulated to make me laugh, and it does. I’m not the type to laugh without provocation, and he’s the only person who is able to make me. But all too soon the large ornate doors to the courtyard loom in front of us. Lenny drops my hand, and it’s a sign. I have to go alone from here. I open the doors, and they creak slightly under my shaking hands. I can’t even tell why I’m worried, there’s nothing to be scared. Except for the fact that I don’t know anything about the test. I now know why I’m scared, and I can stop it.

 

When I walk through the door, Aunt Bella is waiting for me on a bench. She smiles slightly when she sees me.

“I wondered when you’d get here.” She gestures me to sit beside her, and I oblige. Aunt Bella is not the type of person who you say no to.

“I’m sorry, I completely forgot that it was today.” She laughs, her tinkling voice ringing through my ears. She’s so different from Drake, too sweet. She’s like syrup, too good to be real, too sweet to be genuine. I can get why Drake doesn’t connect with his mother.

“Sorry? No need to be sorry.” She insists. “But let’s start, shall we?”

“What do I do during the test?” Her smile drops for a moment, before growing back on her face.

“Nothing much, just what I tell you to do, it won’t be too strenuous.” I nod, and she stands up. “No time to lose.” I stand up as well, and she leads me to the large training area.

I see in the large clearing a tall pole, a table with various amulets on it, and a training dummy. Aunt Bella’s eyes gleam when she sees the equipment, and she states giddily,

“This’ll be so much fun!” I nod and gulp.

“Of course.” I say shakily. She grips my shoulder.

“You’ll be fine.” She assures me. I try to smile, but it comes out half hearted. She guides me towards the training dummy and hands me one of the amulets, and I get a good look at the design. It’s so white, I can hardly stand to look at it. The design is pattern of circles that seem to swirl around the thin metal disc in a way that makes my eyes hurt. I look at Aunt Bella.

“Oh, don’t worry, just put it on. This is the Spirit amulet, we’re going to see how it affects your skills.” I nod worriedly. “It won’t hurt you if you’re-” I cut her off before she finishes her sentence with,

“Why do I even have to take the stupid test? Everyone knows that I’ll be the new Dark, and Lenny Spirit!”

“Father insists.” And I know that when she says Father, she means Grandfather. “This needs to happen, even if it’s just a formality.” I nod, and I knew all along that it was just a formality.

“Then why do we have to start with Spirit? Can’t we just do Dark and get it over with?” She shakes her head again.

“No. Now put the amulet on please.” I do as she says, and my skin feels the same under the amulet, which is completely different than what Drake described the sensation of something that isn’t your Affinity to be. I expected it to either be too hot or to freeze on my skin, but it seems to blend in on my collarbone.

“How does it feel, Kairi?” Aunt Bella asks me, and I’m tempted to lie. But why should I?

“It feels like it belongs there, Aunt Bella. Like it’s meant to be there.” She looks concerned for a moment before responding,

“Well, let’s test it out. Could you hit that dummy?” I nod and do as I am ordered, punching its chest with all the force I can muster from my stick like body, and the crude dummy is knocked back with a force that I couldn’t have mustered on my own. There’s a faint ray of white light that comes from my hand as I punch it, and I’m astonished. This isn’t the way it’s supposed to work! Aunt Bella looks as amazed as I feel, but she brushes it off.

“Shall we do Water next?” And I don’t know why she’s making me try that, Luna is already Water, so why should I test it out? But I do as she says, and when I put the amulet with the waves on, it feels like water on my skin. And I hit the dummy, and it is suddenly drenched.

Aunt Bella has me do all the tests, before coming to Dark, and I perform just as well with it as all the others. And I think the test is over, that there is some mistake, before she pulls out another amulet, and I don’t recognize the symbol.

“Aunt Bella, what’s this?” She shakes her head.

“Just, put it on.” I nod and put it on, and it feels right. All the others felt right, but this one sits different, and I feel that it’s the right amulet. I automatically punch the dummy, and the force of my blow knocks it back to the point where it hits the wall of the courtyard. I look back at Aunt Bella, whose eyes are the size of Grandfather’s saucers for his tea cups.

“What was that?” I ask. “What was that amulet?” She shakes her head.

“We need to go see Father, now.” She says shakily. “Come on, Kairi.” She’s scared, I can tell. But I don’t know why, what is there to be scared of? She takes my hand and drags me back into the large mansion. Lenny is leaning against the wall outside door.

“How did it go-” He starts, but Aunt Bella cuts him off.

“Lenny, gather the family. Don’t ask questions, just grab everyone.” She says sharply.

“Where- where should I tell them to go?” That’s like Lenny. He never asks questions about what he’s supposed to be doing, he just does it. I say jump, he says how high.

“Father’s study!” She calls, pulling me up the stairs, up and up and up, to the top of the east tower, Grandfather’s study. It’s quite a large house, old and regal. Most would call it a castle, but it’s just the Colette Manor to the residents of our town. But she throws open the door, and there is Grandfather like always, smoking a pipe and reading an old book. He looks up surprised.

“What in the name of-”

“Father, something big happened. Everyone needs to know.” Grandfather must have understood the situation better than I did, because he nodded.

“Then we must wait for the rest of the family.” And they file in, one by one. My cousins, Annie, Angelo, Drake, Luna, Ariel, Sam, May, enny, Elizabeth, and Skylar. And Mom and Dad, and Aunt Alexia and Uncle Leo and everyone is there, there for me and I don’t even know why!

“What happened!?” I ask. “What happened in my test that has everyone so riled up!?” I say angrily. I look at Drake who has a dark look on his face.

“Father, Kairi is an Inffinitis.” Grandfather takes the news in stride.

“Are you quite sure, Bella?” She nods.

“She had an Affinity towards everything I tested her on, and when I brought out the Inffinitis amulet, she knocked the training dummy all the way across the courtyard.” He nods.

“What is an Inffinitis?” I ask. “What am I?” Drake gulps, and answers my question.

“Kairi,” He begins softly, “an Inffinitis is someone who has control over all the Affinities.” I look at him wide eyed.

“Is that what I am?” I ask, my voice hoarse. Grandfather’s eyes seek mine, and I can see the seriousness in his intense green eyes.

“Quite possibly, but I’d like to see it for myself.” He says. “Kairi, do you still have the amulet on?” I nod and pull it out. “Could you demonstrate for me?” He asks. I nod softly, too aware of the eyes on me.
“It was… destructive.” I warn. He nods.

“Destructive things happen all the time around here, Kairi. Just demonstrate this, please.” He insists, pointing at the only wall that isn’t covered in books, which is the wall out to the staircase. I breathe deeply and feel a burst of energy bubbling up inside me as I concentrate. I feel powerful for the first time in my life, and I have to let it out. I slowly put my hand out with the palm towards the door, and let out the release of pent up energy, and for some reason I feel Dark. And then the lights go out, and the sun seems to darken, and it’s pitch black except for the faint light Ariel is emitting, being Light and all. And there is a burst of black energy or something, and the door is thrown off its hinges, and out the window. Then the lights turn back on, the sun gets a new life, and I feel exhausted, like I just ran a marathon. I look at Drake, whose head is resting on his hand, and his hand is resting on his other hand. He’s looking at me, a look of grave concern on his face, until dead silence is broken by the one and only Lenny.

“Well, she’s good at Dark, maybe the test was faulty, maybe she’s just Dark.” Aunt Bella shakes her head.

“She was good at all of it.” She insists. “She’s an Inffinitis, I know.”

“Are you sure, Mother?” Drake asks her. “It could be that she just has multiple Affinities, that has happened before.”

“I- I was good at all of them.” I say shakily. He looks at me, and he seems afraid. Of me. “What’s wrong? Is this bad? Am I bad?” He shakes his head.

“No, it’s not bad at all.” Grandfather answers for him. “Just incredibly rare. The last case that we had was over a hundred years ago.” I shake my head.

“This can’t happen to me.” Drake walks over to me and hugs me before asking Grandfather,

“Grandfather, could I take Kairi to her room, I think she needs to relax for a little while, we all do. This is huge.” Grandfather nods.

“I agree. Kairi, I want you to come see me after you soak this in.” I nod, and Drake gently leads me out of the room and down the stairs. I don’t think I can make the walk on my own, my legs feel like jelly and I feel simply awful, possibly because of the news or of the epic display of epicness that just went on. Drake stays silent, and Lenny -who’s walking along with us- actually stays quiet. I look at him, and I can’t read his face.

Somehow we come to my room, and Drake pushes me inside. I can’t say anything, I don’t know what to say. So I don’t I just sit on my bed before Drake gently pushes me down.

“You need some sleep, go to bed.” I nod, too worn out to protest. I get under the covers and drift off to sleep.

 

I Have Another Non Book Rant….sorry….

Okay so I have started on Buffy the Vampire Slayer finally, and I am on the finale of season 2, and my feels over this season are…

S

P

O

I

L

E

R

 

S

P

A

C

E

 

NOOOOOO THE BUFFY ANGEL SHIP SAILS AND THEN IT HITS THE ICEBERG AND THEN IT SAILS FOR AN EPISODE THEN IT DIES AND I JUST WANT HIS SOUL BACK AND THE BUFFY ANGEL SHIP TO SAIL AGAIN BUT I THINK IT WON’T HAPPEN SO FEELS AND MY DAD IS JUST ALL LIKE HE GETS HIS SOUL BACK LATER BUT I DON’T WANT IT TO BE LATER AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT’LL HAPPEN AND *dies*

Book Review: Beautiful Creatures

Hey all you people out there on the inter-webs! So sorry for not posting there has been a lot of crap going on in my life but I’m back now and ready for a new book review!

First off, I think, but am not quite sure, but I think I’ll be doing a series of reviews on this series. This is one of my favorite new series and, uh, it’s cool. But hey people I think that…. uhh…. I forgot where I was going but to the review! *brandishes sword in the air*

 

Beautiful Creatures By Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia

 

Synopsis:

Ethan Wate is haunted by dreams of a girl he’s never met. When Lena Duchannes moves into his small southern town of Gatlin County, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her. And he is determined to uncover the strange connection between them, even if it means uncovering the one secret that could change everything.

http://www.beautifulcreaturesnovels.com

 

My review:

*wheezes* This is one of the best books I have read as of late, and is right up there with Harry Potter and The Fault in Our Stars -which I have been fangirling about for months- and GLOB HOW DO I DESCRIBE BEAUTIFUL CREATURES!!!

First off, it is extremely well written. I love the authors and the books after this one.

Secondly, it doesn’t have the sex and language other books have these days, and for that, I’m glad. Also, I felt that I could relate to the characters, especially Ethan, who is caught up in a world he can’t hope to understand, but he does his best. I love a hero who isn’t a god, and Ethan isn’t.

On the subject of the later books well…. we’ll save that for later, okay?

5 out of 5 stars from meh!

 

-Lissy