“Water & Storm Country” (Country Saga #3)
by David Estes
Release Date: June 6th 2013.
Genre: YA Dystopian.
Formats: Paperback (only at Amazon), Kindle, Nook, Smashwords
The book is suitable for all audiences.
Huck Jones, the son of the admiral of the Soaker fleet, has a legacy to live up to. Haunted by the distorted memories of his mother’s untimely death, he must face his demons and the man who raised him as he strives to take the courageous step forward into manhood. When he’s transferred to the worst-performing ship in the fleet, everything he believes is called into question when he meets a lowly brown-skinned bilge rat girl. Huck walks a deadly rope…
When the weight of Gard’s heavy hands lifts from the crown of my head, I look up and the war leader nods. I stand to cheers and thunder from stomping feet, stride toward the stables, invincible, where a horse is being led toward me.
With a sleek, black hide, long, black mane, and fierce brown eyes, she’s everything I always imagined she would be. Stamping her feet, pulling at the ropes, snorting heavy plumes of breath out of her flaring nostrils, she’s unbroken.It takes four strong men, Riders, to control her, and even then, she’s uncontrollable. Wild. Hungry. Mine.As I approach, I notice a mar on the complete darkness of her coloring: A single patch of white sits high on her nose, almost between her ears, shaped like a butterfly. White wings.Can she fly?I’m still admiring her wild and untamed perfection, wondering where she was found, how hard it was for the Horse Whisperers to lure her close enough to capture her, whether she put up a fight, when one of the ropes are thrust into my hands.Thankfully, I have enough sense to grab it firmly, to hold on, to remember the words my mother taught me, let them flow freely through my mind. I am yours, you are mine, we are one. A warrior and a steed become a Rider. Fight with me even as I fight with you. Separate, our strength is breakable, matched by many; combined, our power is above all, unstoppable.
The words roll over and over in my mind as I take the second rope, walking my hands up the thick strands, feeling them burn my palms as the horse bucks and strains against the bonds that are so foreign to a creature that has known only complete freedom while roaming wild on the plains.
Freedom is an illusion. I’m surprised to hear my father’s words in my head while I’m so focused on approaching my horse. I shake my head and resume my chant, this time out loud, first as a whisper and then louder and louder as I get closer and closer. The horse isn’t calmed by my words, but I know she hears them, because she’s completely focused on me now, and I’m oblivious to the ceremony that continues behind me.
Passion. The name occurs to me just like my mother said it would, right when one of the Riders are thrown down when the horse charges sharply to one side.
“Passion,” I say, and she stands perfectly still, matching the intensity of my gaze. “Sadie.” She snorts, as if my name is but a cricket under the stomp of her grand feet. And so it is.
I shouldn’t be this close, not at the first meeting. My mother told me, but it takes Passion to teach me.
She seems calm since I spoke her name. Her head even bows a little, and my mother said a wild horse will never do that. Already, our bond is special.
I reach forward to rub the white butterfly on her nose.
Her drooping eyes suddenly flash with anger and her head bucks as she leaps forward, butting me, throwing me backward, nearly stomping on my leg as I skid across the grass.
The Seven Doors by David Estes
Thank you for such a unique topic today! The topic I’ve been given is: You find yourself in front of 7 identical doors. A voice from above tells you: “These 7 doors lead you to 7 places, Narnia, Neverland, Wonderland, Camelot, Middle Earth, Hogwarts and Westeros.” Which door do you go through? Why? What happens?
My first thought when I got this topic was: OMG! Why? Because it’s freaking hard! Those are all pretty cool/scary doors to have the opportunity to go through. I can almost see: Captain Hook’s…well, his hook…jammed into the door to Neverland; a roundish, and most certainly small, hobbit door for the entrance to middle earth; and a weird, multi-layered flap of a door that ruffles when you walk in, like a shuffling deck of cards (all hearts, of course) for the passage to Wonderland. (I considered going with a rabbit hole or a looking glass for Wonderland, but I figure that’s been overdone.)
I know, I know, just decide already! I’m purposely delaying because I don’t know. I really don’t know. First, let me strike Narnia, I was never a huge fan, sorry C.S.! And Camelot’s gone, too, I prefer watching Merlinto participating in Arthur’s Kingdom. And bye, bye Westeros, you’re a little too dark for me. Hmm, although I wouldn’t mind seeing the decidedly insane Hatter up close and in action, I’ll have to pass on facing off against the particularly witchy Queen of Hearts, so see ya Wonderland!
That leaves Neverland, Middle Earth and Hogwarts. Neverland, against most company, would stand a pretty good chance (who doesn’t want to stay young?), but choosing it over Middle Earth and Hogwarts would be like choosing a stranger’s child over one of my own children (or at least my future children since I don’t yet have any). So Neverland’s out too. That leaves Hogwarts (oh my gosh I would love to meet Dumbledore!) and Middle Earth (my favorite, favorite, favorite…did I say favorite?…series of ALL TIME). I’d give my left…let’s go with left pinky toe on my left foot…to visit the elves, yeah, just like the honorable Mr. Samwise Gamgee! Hmmmmmm…decisions, decisions! I really need someone like Carson Daly on The Voice telling me “David, you really have to make a decision. We have 30 seconds.” in that calm and unflappable voice of his.
OK, Middle Earth it is! *stepping through the red-painted hobbit door marked with a scratch from a wizard’s staff* *nearly hitting head on VERY low doorframe*
Whoa! Yeah, whoa! I didn’t end up in a hobbit hole sitting down to tea with Bilbo and the dwarves. No, nothing like that at all. I’m in the middle of the battle of Helm’s Deep, Gimli and Legolas by my side, killing battle-scarred steroidal orcs and keeping tally of their kills like they’re counting the pennies in their piggy banks. And I have a sword in one hand and a bow in the other but I throw them down because, well because an orc is swinging an axe at my head and the only thing I can think to do is duck and run back toward the Keep. (Yeah, I’m screaming like a little girl, too.)
And that’s pretty much my Middle Earth experience. Because I must get hit on the head at some point as everything goes black and I wake up with a nasty bump on my head and a fair-haired elf pouring bittersweet tea down my throat that tastes like honey and mint and sage and well, sort of like a McDonald’s cheeseburger, too, if I’m being honest. And I feel better almost right away because it’s elf tea and full of awesome healing magic.
Once I’m back on my feet, they send me back through the magical hobbit-hole door with nary a goodbye, see you later, or my preciousssss. That’s when I wake up.
Whew! What an adventure—albeit a short one!—that turned out to be! Now I want to hear from all of you. Which door would you choose and why? And what would happen to you?
A special thanks to DeAnna for inviting me on her blog and for giving me the thought provoking and FUN guest post topic! I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did writing (and experiencing) it!!
David Estes was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was very young. He grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually he moved to Sydney, Australia where he met his wife and soul mate, Adele, who he’s now been happily married to for more than two years.
A reader all his life, David began writing novels for the children’s and YA markets in 2010, and has completed 14 novels, 12 of which have been published. In June of 2012, David became a fulltime writer and is now travelling the world with Adele while he writes books, and she writes and takes photographs.
David gleans inspiration from all sorts of crazy places, like watching random people do entertaining things, dreams (which he jots copious notes about immediately after waking up), and even from thin air sometimes!
David’s a writer with OCD, a love of dancing and singing (but only when no one is looking or listening), a mad-skilled ping-pong player, an obsessive Goodreads group member, and prefers writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table. He loves responding to e-mails, Facebook messages, Tweets, blog comments, and Goodreads comments from his readers, all of whom he considers to be his friends.
Learn more about the author:
- 2 winners
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