Welcome to one of the November 2nd stops on the blog tour for The Seeking by Marlena Frank, organized by Silver Dagger Book Tours. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for more spotlights, guest posts by the author, and a giveaway! (More on that at the end of this post.)
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by Marlena Frank
Published 27 October 2020
by The Parliament House
Genre: YA Horror Dystopian
Page Count: 259
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Beware the Gray People
Each Seeking, the magic that protects the town of Carra must be renewed, which means the children of the Exalted Family must go into hiding. Whether it be through disguise or bribe, through trusted friends or perfect hiding places, every child of the Priest family must avoid capture for the full day.
When things go wrong with the renewal, it’s up to seventeen-year-old Dahlia, the middle child of the Priest family, and her girlfriend, Bisa, to escape Carra and find the magical beings responsible for the protection. They must learn who would require such a cruel game to be played every year and if the protection of the Gray People is really worth such a deadly cost. What they will discover is far worse.
by Marlena Frank
Part 1: Apple Pie
Chapter 1: The Exalted
The scent of freshly baked apple pie filled the cold morning air… I hated it. It was a tradition of Carra, baked throughout the town at the end of October every year. Most thought it was a lovely treat, a warm and sweet way to step into fall, but it made my stomach clench.
It was a holiday favorite for The Seeking, and today almost every home in town had a pie.
I took a deep breath, allowing the scent to flow through me, allowing my hands to tremble before willing them to be still. It was only morning, I reminded myself. There were many hours before the clock struck midnight and The Seeking began. The hunt wasn’t on yet; besides, I still had people to see.
Wrapping my scarf tighter around my neck, I headed down the hill, away from the Exalted House. The dirt path felt solid under my feet even as my heart fluttered like a hummingbird in flight.
While the sun had only just peeked over the horizon, all of Carra was bustling. They were celebrating, of course; the Great Feast would take place tonight, where they would make sure the hunters and dogs were well fed. I felt their eyes on me as I walked down the street, faces turning toward me, eyes peering out through windows. If I wasn’t careful tonight, any of them might catch me.
A blast of wind scattered a pile of leaves and I started, clutching my hat as my boots sank slightly into a muddy patch on the dirt road.
Whenever they caught me looking at them, their intense gazes would turn into cheerful smiles.
All of them were deceivers.
There was no polite, understood rivalry this year.
No, this year, there was outright anger towards me and my family. I could feel it in the air but couldn’t pinpoint it exactly. Was it because we had been in power for so long? Five years didn’t seem that long, but I couldn’t deny how the resentment had grown over time.
A young woman, who had auburn hair and looked to be a few years older than me, walked towards me on the path. She was smiling, but when she glanced up and saw me, her smile hardened, and she turned quickly down a side road. She was hardly an exception to the rule.
Every year I watched their pleasantries grow thin. As the months passed, I noticed how they stared up at the Exalted House with undeniable envy in their eyes as their bitterness grew. Many were biding their time until tonight, when they had the power to make a change.
At midnight the bell tower would toll and The Seeking would begin. Their smiles would no longer need to be masked. At midnight their true hatred would come out to play.
been writing horror and fantasy short stories since 2010 and has had her work published in a number of anthologies, from Heroic Fantasy Quarterly to The Sirens Call.
Her YA Dark Fantasy novella, The She-Wolf of Kanta, was released in April 2018 from Aurelia Leo. Her debut novel, Stolen, came out January 2019 from The Parliament House Press, and on release day became an Amazon Bestseller in a YA category. When she isn’t thinking up strange tales, she’s an active member in the Atlanta cosplay community and the Atlanta chapter of the Horror Writers Association. Her novel Stolen hit Amazon’s bestseller status on release day, reaching #34 in the Fairy Tales, Folk Tales & Myths for Children category on Amazon on release day.
One lucky follower of the tour will receive a $10 Amazon gift card, a The Seeking bookmark, and a The Seeking sticker. Visit more stops on the tour for more chances to enter! Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway.a Rafflecopter giveaway
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