Bold Release Party Tour Day 15

Posted: December 29, 2013 by Hannah Stewart in Uncategorized

It’s day 15 of the Bold Release Party Blog Tour, and we’ve had another schedule change. As happens in life, our host today got caught out of time at the last minute. Hopefully, she’ll be able to put up her post sometime soon, and I will link you all here. But for now, please enjoy another sneak peek at Breaking Shadows: Bold (available here)! Don’t forget, tonight is the last night to enter the Holy Apple Crisps giveaway! Tweet or share something about Bold using the hashtag #HolyAppleCrisps to enter a drawing for %70 off a copy of Breaking Shadows: Bold! Two winners will be announced tomorrow, right here, for the conclusion of the Bold Release Party.

Sneak Peek from Chapter 6:

“Apple crisps.” I mutter, gritting my teeth as the blanks for today’s stealth training exercise clatter on the ground around me, the crate clunking at my feet. I growl softly, struggling to arrange myself such that I can keep my balance on one leg like a stork, while using my hands to gather the cartridges back into the box without hurting myself or losing control of my cane. My short hair falls unceremoniously into my eyes and nose, aggravating me further, and I huff out a miserable sigh.

“Jesse, here, let me help you with that.” Someone calls, and my blood roils over before I can identify him. I flick the bothersome strands of hair away, speeding my pace and refusing to acknowledge whoever is trying to come to my rescue this time.

They all think I’m some kind of weak damsel, now that my leg’s messed up, and they don’t even know I’m a girl. Once upon a time, everyone looked at me with respect. Now all I see is pity, the same looks given to the starving pup begging in the street. Like I’m some hopeless cause, some snot-faced kid with high ambitions. I can’t even walk home without them hounding me. ‘Oh no, weak, helpless, little Jesse, let me help you with that’ or ‘let me do that, Jesse. You’re far too small and lame to possibly carry bandages to the infirmary alone!’ Blah-blah-blah, it’s all I ever hear anymore! They say they need me, but they refuse to let me do anything even remotely helpful on my own. I don’t need a babysitter, and I certainly don’t need an army of them!

I shove the last blank into the crate, grabbing the box and hefting it with a defiant air. As I straighten, my balance bobbles dangerously, and my cane falls from my hand to land in the dirt with a hollow thump.

“Apple crisps!” I snarl, and a scarred, gnarled hand shoots out for it. I lean down stubbornly to snag it first, frustration climbing to a feverish pitch in my chest.

“No, I got it! I can handle it!” I bark, but as my fingers close around the hefty stick, the crate wobbles and more blank cartridges spill out into the dirt. I grind my teeth, furious with myself as he beats me to collecting them.

“I never said you couldn’t.” The voice is soft and gentle, forcing me to take pause and look up in surprise. Jude’s eccentric green eyes meet mine, but instead of the sympathy I expected to find, I see an understanding, a hopefulness there.

“Well, you certainly implied it, rushing over here as if my life depended on it. Haven’t we been through this?” I toss back, and he smirks. Great. Here we go with the snippy come back to make the gimpy ‘half-dead shrimp’ feel worse.

“You’re more capable than all of us together, Jesse. And any squirt like you tough enough to drag me across town and halfway up the side of Raven’s Mount after taking two direct shots and nearly bleeding out in an alley is obviously well able to carry a crate of blanks across the tunnel on his own. But just because you can doesn’t mean you have to. I’m not offering to help because you’re some lame kid, I’m doing it because you deserve at least this much.” He says, his voice so full of sincerity that I’m left staring at him like a dumb mute. A toothy, genuine smile enough to make even his webby scars endearing stretches over his face, and I let him take the crate from my hands. I fumble to fill my urge to explain myself as he motions for me to lead the way, finding it difficult to loose my tongue.

“They don’t think my leg will heal.” The words tumble out, and I wish I could pull them back in, shocked at my own response. He hesitates, shifting his hold of the crate and eyeing me with a thoughtful expression, as if mulling me over like a chewy hunk of meat.

“And what do you think?” His tone is steady, not unfeeling, but devoid of opinion or emotion.

“I think it will. I just need time.” I snap, voice cracking with an almost bitter undertone.

“Well, there you go!” He replies confidently, moving forward again with his funny stride and leaving me to waver this time.

“But… Wait. Why are you so certain?” I question him, hobbling along to catch up and ramming into him when he halts to send me a quizzical look.

“Jesse, you are the strongest, bravest, craziest guy I’ve ever met. This mountain itself would jump out of the way if you ordered it. I don’t doubt you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. You won’t fail until the world sends you 6 feet under, and I don’t think death is too eager to knock at your doorstep again. If you say your leg will heal, I’m willing to bet my life on it – as small of a cost as that may seem.” His strong words leave me stunned, dragging along meekly behind him. I don’t realize I’ve been staring at the back of his head with my jaw agape until he breaks the silence between us, and I snap it shut in embarrassment.  

Breaking Shadows: Bold (c) 2013

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