Welcome to one of the September 22nd tour stops on the tour & social media blitz for Sister of the Chosen One by Colleen Oakes & Erin Armknecht, organized by YA Bound Book Tours. Be sure to check out my Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest features for this blitz later today (afternoon, Newfoundland time), look for other bloggers and bookish influencers participating in the blitz, and enter the giveaway! (More information on that at the end of this post.)
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About the Book
Sister of the Chosen One
by Colleen Oakes & Erin Armknecht
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Fantasy
Page Count: 284
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
“Action-packed, empowering, and comic-book vivid, Sister of the Chosen One will have you cheering.” – Natalie Mae, Author of The Kinder Poison
Valora Rigmore understands pressure. As the Chosen One (resident telekinetic, superstar and model girlfriend) her life revolves around it. According to an ancient prophesy, Valora is destined to fight Erys, a terrifying individual with the power to control monsters. Valora is worshipped at school, in the press and by her parents, but as the battle with Erys looms near, the cracks in her perfect façade are beginning to show.
Her twin, Grier Rigmore understands disappointment. A curvy bookworm perpetually in the shadow of her sister’s legacy, Grier’s life is one long humiliation after another. However, as Valora’s fandom reaches an unbearable fever pitch, an interesting new boy and a clever teacher spark Grier’s curiosity about her own powerful gifts.
When Grier’s star begins to rise, so do more questions, like: who is truly the Chosen One, and will two sisters at odds survive long enough to understand the answer?
Best described as Harry Potter meets Mindy Kaling, Sister of the Chosen One is a darkly funny, female empowered YA epic about siblings struggling to connect with each other, free themselves of labels and save the world in the process.
Chapter Two – Grier
In case you were wondering, it sucks to be the sister of the Chosen One.
When most people think about sisters, they picture two girls laughing together, their heads bent in mutual conspiracy, bonded by their shared blood. This is not us. It has never been us. I don’t even have a chance to glance up from my book before it’s ripped from my hands and flung across the room.
“What the hell, Valora?” I squawk, scrambling to my feet as she stands there glowering down at me, one hand outstretched, fingers curled in menace. Even smeared with the blood of whatever now-dead creature lies rotting in the courtyard, my sister still looks amazing. She’s the literal worst. Her royal highness lifts her chin and twists her mouth in a half-snarl before collapsing on her bed. Killing monsters must be exhausting.
Also exhausting? Being a total a-hole.
I consider saying something about the amount of blood she’s going to leave on her ridiculous pile of throw pillows but decide against it. It won’t be her problem to clean up, anyway.
Nothing is ever Valora’s problem.
Instead, I say nothing and retreat to my side of the suite, the cozy little nook added as an afterthought to Valora’s spacious private quarters. I grab everything off the beloved patchwork quilt my Nan gave me and sweep it neatly into my bag, mourning the loss of what was a wonderfully quiet moment. I love my room, especially when you-know-who isn’t there.
With an annoyed frown, I toss my messenger bag over one shoulder and slip out without saying a word to my sister, who is lying on the bed with her eyes closed. She’s probably replaying the battle, reveling in her fearless badassery. She never thinks about me; this I know for sure. I slam the door with a grunt and make my way to the cafeteria.
The halls of Proctor Moor are wide and full of natural light. Bucking the Connecticut trends of classic architecture, this school’s buildings are sleek and contemporary, spacious structures of steel, glass, and sustainably-sourced wood. It’s hard to mourn the lack of turrets when floor-to-ceiling glass walls show off green hills in the summer and an explosion of reds and golds in the fall. I stop and stare at the hills, wishing for the thousandth time that I could enjoy this school for what it is, and not who it was built for. I put my hand up against the glass, but no one can see me; for our safety, the glass in every building is mirrored, making it impossible for outsiders to see in. It’s sort of a pathetic metaphor for my life really: the invisible girl standing in the wing that bears her family’s name.
Exceptionals had schools before, but only in rinky-dink pockets in the U.S and the U.K. The government, originally very excited about the Exceptional gifts when they first emerged in the 50s, made sure we were protected. Amongst their sock hops and blatant racism, a bunch of nervous old white men, who maybe thought we were witches for awhile, built a system to protect Exceptionals. The world knows about us, but they don’t know many of us – we’re kind of in our own world. They quickly learned that most of us were utterly useless and the funding ran low. Our schools were still funded by the taxes of normal folks, but they were pretty terrible. I get it. I mean, why build something cool for a guy whose gift is that he can inflate balloons just by thinking about it? But then…then came Everett Proctor and scary-as-hell Erys and the prophecy and Valora and whoo boy, another weaponized telekinetic! Hold the phone – this one is hot! Suddenly the government was wetting their pants to throw Department of Defense money at Exceptionals.
Thus, this school. These windows, that bamboo floor, those enormous framed posters of Valora that loom over me as I walk down the hall.
The first one is from the day our family went to Mystic Seaport for my dad’s birthday. We’d been in the museum gift shop, Valora sighing loudly about how bored she was, when a Scaled Gallsoul began to slither in through a floor vent. I’d been flipping through a carousel of postcards when the black smoke billowed up and filled the room. I remember the burning, the thickness that made it impossible to breathe. I opened my eyes just in time to see Valora hurtling herself through the nearest window, somersaulting on the pavement outside before breaking into a dead sprint to lure the creature away from us. When the smoke cleared, my parents found me on the floor, shaking and red-eyed. By the time Valora was found in a nearby cemetery surrounded by a black pool that was once the Gallsoul, our birthday plans were definitely wrecked. Instead of a dinner cruise, we had fast food in the back of a news van while Valora was interviewed. My parents didn’t seem to mind, though. They never do. Especially my father, who basks in her glory like a snake in the sun.
I scan the next poster, my stomach churning slightly at the gory memory of Valora sending a parking sign flying through the air and straight through an Ash Ape’s head as though she were stabbing a ripe melon. The image thankfully didn’t include me off to the side, projectile barfing at the sight of it all. The final poster, which I know is secretly Valora’s favorite since she stares at it all the damn time, was a gift from her official fan club, depicting their hero as the world saw her: fierce, fearless, and beautiful. In the glass-covered poster I see the reflection of my own frizzy brown hair, a stark contrast to Valora’s razor-sharp locks. We have the same heavy brows, but hers are flawlessly arched, while mine are straight and unruly. Valora’s cheeks are glowing; I blush easily, turning splotchy and red. I stare into her eyes, the same olive green as mine, then nervously pull at the hem of my long-sleeved t-shirt as I’m aware of my body shape in the glass. I’m sturdy and pear-shaped compared to my lithe, toned sister. Kind people would call me curvy; crueler people would call me…well, other things. We look nothing alike. This seems to be the one thing that surprises people the most when they find out we’re twins.
“Oh!” they’ll exclaim. “You’re…twins! But you…you’re not…” That particular conversation that always ends up making me feeling small. I give the Valoras in the posters a dirty look and head toward the cafeteria. As I pass the crowded foyer outside of the atrium, I catch snippets of excited conversation about the battle.
“Did you see how she strangled the thing with its own tentacles?” a bespectacled freshman boy squawks. “She made it kick its own ass!”
“The statue was SO gross!” a girl I recognize from my History of Exceptionals class groans. “I thought Miss Flores was going to freak!”
In the cafeteria I grab a tray, my eyes scanning the room for Agnes. We’ve known each other since fourth grade, when we were the last two to be picked for kickball at recess. By the time I have chosen my lunch, I still haven’t spotted her, so I take a seat at our usual spot along a wall of windows that faces a patch of evergreens. I’m watching a pair of squirrels chase each other among the tree branches when a deep, unfamiliar voice breaks my concentration.
“Excuse me, but is anyone sitting here?”
I startle and glance up, my heart thudding up into my throat. It’s the new boy, Leo Something-or-Other. I’d noticed him in the halls over the last few days, carrying a campus map like only new kids do. He looked lost, and he’d asked me for directions to the library. Now he’s standing next to the table, tall and lean, his jet-black hair parted to one side and just the right amount of messy. I blink, running my tongue over my teeth, hoping there are no strawberry seeds stuck anywhere. He must be lost again. Maybe he’s looking for my sister. What does he want? Does he know who I am?
About the Authors
Colleen Oakes is the bestselling author of books for both teens and adults, including The Black Coats, Queen of Hearts Series, and The Wendy Darling Saga. She lives in North Denver with her husband and son.
Erin Armknecht lives in St. Louis with her husband, son and rescue dog. Sister of the Chosen One is her debut novel. You can find her Twitter @EisforErin, and on Instagram @erinarmknecht. (Goodreads author page)
One lucky follower of this tour & blitz will walk away with a copy of The Sister of the Chosen One and a bracelet that reads “Be Badass Every Day.”a Rafflecopter giveaway
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