Welcome! Indie Author Excerpts is a feature allowing indie authors the chance to showcase one of their books and allows readers to find their next favorite story. Each week, an indie author gets to promote a 1-2 page excerpt of their book here at The Bawdy Book Blog. This is a win-win for everyone! This feature was inspired in part by Indie Author Spotlight, a meme hosted by Beckie @ Bittersweet Enchantment and CYP @ A Bookalicious Story.
This Week’s Excerpt: Renhala by Amy Joy Lutchen!
Kailey Rooke, timid accountant, dedicated to philanthropic work, finds herself spiraling into a deep depression after she suffers a horrifyingly odd and humiliating assault, to only discover more of these freakish assaults occurring across the globe.
A chance discovery leads Kailey to a meeting with elderly Gunthreon, actual master of persuasion. Gunthreon, who seems to know too much of Kailey’s history for her liking, opens Kailey’s eyes to a coexisting realm she never knew existed: Renhala, while entrusting her with the knowledge of her newfound power as karmelean, serving as a beacon to the Higher Ones. Kailey slowly starts revealing new talents, and Gunthreon is fascinated with what she starts achieving.
She soon discovers that Renhala is in danger, and this danger has been leaking into her own realm. As she uncovers secrets within herself, and attempts to toughen up, she fuses with an unlikely band of fellow travelers (including a dragon, woodsprite, six-hundred-pound greble, her faithful female canine companion, and a “giver”), falls into an unexpected love triangle, deals with her sexy and flirtatious best friend’s “issues,” and finds the courage to master a new deadly weapon.
On her mission to save Renhala, Kailey will find herself running from life-threatening disasters, such as greble Tartarin, who likes to remind Kailey that when he catches her, he plans on eating her brains with ice cream; she’ll run from the deadly meeples: small cute bunnies with talons and an undeniable thirst for imposing self-destruction on others. Kailey will also run into the possibility that a centuries-old Renhalan rumor is true, that advanced technology existing in Kailey’s realm shortens all life spans.
As blood is shed and puzzles near completion, Kailey pulls from deep within herself, conjuring up mystical qualities that enable her to astonish as once predicted at her birth, but despite the newfound strength, Kailey will discover that monsters not only come in ugly packages, but can be easily disguised as those she has come to love and trust.
“So where did Bu run off to?” I say, quickly changing the subject. “He’s got to be as hungry as I am, or more so. I’m surprised he hasn’t smelled it already.”
Lupa, with her mouth full of gooey cheese and vegetables, says, with her finger pointed, “You’ll find Bu down that hall, through the door on the right. It will have an aquarium scene carved into it, and beautiful work, I must say.” She keeps chewing, drooling a bit out of the left side of her mouth, but she catches it skillfully with her napkin.
A nod is all I get as she gulps her fruit punch.
“Do you mind if I come, too?” Conner’s plate is already empty, and he stands with his hands in his pockets, looking cute and innocent.
I can’t help but allow him to follow. “Sure.” Jenna doesn’t even know what’s going on around her—her pizza is untouched—because she’s still playing with my phone. My cell phone bill will definitely be checked with more gusto come next month, because I wouldn’t be surprised to find a cross-country call to 123-456-7890. “Jenna, call this number and ask my mom if she wants to come over and hang with us.” I write down her number and slide the paper in front of her.
I pile on my plate two more pieces of pizza then go grab a few anchovy pieces for Bu. I decide to put his in a plastic Ziploc I found on the counter because I don’t want any of his anchovies touching any bit of my pizza. Conner grabs one more piece for the road as I shove the baggie in my pocket.
As we walk, Conner clears his throat. “You know, the stupid bickering we’ve been doing is going nowhere. Let’s start from scratch.” The apology—or at least that’s how I’m taking his words—releases tension in my shoulders that I didn’t even realize I was carrying until now.
My pizza balances nicely on my hand as I extend my other to shake. “Nice to meet you. I’m Kailey,” I say. Conner shakes firmly, and I feel that familiar static electricity dart through my hand. “Stop with that, though.”
“Honestly, I’m not doing that. It must be you.”
“Uh, no. I don’t do that. Maybe if you’d pick your feet up more when you walk.” Our walk slows down as our voices get louder.
“I’ve never done that with anyone,” says Conner. “You’re the one with the hidden powers after all, remember? Maybe you’re like ‘Super Shock,’ the superhero, or something. No, better yet—‘Karmelean: your personal defibrillator.’ Yeah!” He laughs at his own joke, but stops quickly as his pizza slides down the front of his shirt.
“No need to reheat later, Sparky McGee!” I prance well ahead of him and find the door Lupa mentioned. The workmanship is indeed superb, giving each sea creature a life of its own, suspended in wood.
“Wow.” Some of the pizza sauce still lingers on his shirt. “This is a hundred-dollar shirt, you know,” he says. He speaks without taking his eyes off the door.
“Looks like you got robbed,” I say.
Just as he is about to return the fire, a low-pitch rumbling noise leaks from beyond the door. We look to each other and both grab the doorknob. The shock from that simple touch sends an electrical current up the door, which reaches out to each fish and anemone carved into it. For a brief three seconds, the creatures are alive, swimming to and fro across the door.
But as quickly as their lives began, they freeze and are once again carved into the door where they last swam.
“Beats the Shedd Aquarium any day!” says Conner. He turns the knob and opens the door ever so slowly, revealing the room beyond, foot by magnificent foot.
To imagine standing on the bottom of the ocean floor with all your clothes on, breathing air as schools of fish swim between your legs does not even come close to the experience even of standing in the doorway of this room. Bu floats in the center of the room, his back to us. He talks, but I cannot understand his words or see who or what he may be talking to. As I gather the courage to step inside the room, Bu’s head turns 180 degrees and he smiles. No matter how much I love and trust Bu, that simple movement still creeps me out.
“That is horror-film material,” says Conner, shaking.
“Glad we can agree on something.” As we enter the room, the door disappears behind us and the room gets very moist, as though we have entered a rainforest. The moisture grows heavier and heavier, until we are totally saturated to our underwear. Overwhelming dizziness takes over my body and I wobble, feeling as though my head might explode. I look to Conner and see gills on his neck. “No way!” I say. My words are drowned as I reach to my neck and feel my own set of gills.
About the Author
Born in Chicago, Illinois, a few days prior to watching her first movie, at a drive-in theater. Yes, drive-in theater. And yes, her mother believed she was possessed by the devil after said first movie.
Grew up in the Chicagoland area and graduated from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, where she simply became a number, but decided it was a good number.
Loves cooking (mostly candy-cooking), gardening (putting holes in the ground for perennials, DONE!), designing and constructing jewelry (everything from silversmithing to lampworking), and living with her wonderful husband, two children, black Labrador, and frog—and maybe even the chipmunk family that likes to destroy her aforementioned perennials.
Also hopes that you enjoy her writings, and won’t criticize her for her aversion of eating things in multiples of three.
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