Updated: Jul 10, 2019
A lot has happened lately. My husband and I just bought a house in El Paso, and were finally able to move in about a week ago. We both started our new jobs, and *finally* after months of hype, my book is available for pre-order on Amazon! I am incredibly excited, and part of me still can't believe we're finally here!
So, to celebrate the pre-order status of my book, I am going to post an excerpt from the first chapter. Hope you enjoy!
“Do you believe in the story or prophecy or whatever?”
“I do not know,” he said, somewhat sadly. “I grew up hearing of little else, but when I met your mother everything changed for me. I suddenly could see a life for me, for us, that was not stuck in a camp, persecuted and hated. I wanted to leave. And then my poor, sweet Verochka was too good for this world, and she named you Maraka with her dying breath. My mother saw the crescent moon on your foot and said you were the Summoner. I didn’t believe her at first, but what else was I to do? She is my mother. She made me promise.”
“You mean that silly little birthmark on my foot? Seriously? That’s what this is all about?” Mari tried to mask her mixed curiosity and disbelief by shoveling more stuffed cabbage into her mouth.
He shook his head slowly, saying, “It is more than that.” Ilya rose from the table, his empty plate in his hand. “Come, we have both eaten more than enough. I will get the heirlooms out of the basement so you can see for yourself how silly the elders are. Then we will both laugh, and you can take the rest of the halupki to our new neighbors. I am sure they are hungry.” He put his plate on the sink and walked away, disappearing into the basement.
Mari sighed, arranging the remaining stuffed cabbage on a large platter. She stretched tin foil across the top. To busy herself while her father gathered whatever mysterious heirlooms she would apparently inherit in order to fulfill an equally mysterious (and, she thought, unlikely) destiny, she cleared off the rest of the table and began to rinse the dishes in the sink.
Finally her father returned from the basement, lugging a large duffle bag behind him. He hauled the bag up and let it drop on the center of the kitchen table with a loud clank. Mari watched with a raised brow as he unpacked the contents. When he was finished, four bundles of different sizes were laid out, as well as a small velvet pouch and an old brown folder. “Where’s the jewelry?” she asked.
He shot her an exasperated look. “Be patient, my daughter. The jewels are in here,” he said, pointing to the pouch. He tugged open the drawstring, and a glimmer of stones poured out in different shapes and colors, a green moon, a black sword, something in blue. They caught the light, twinkling and sparkling. “But these,” he said, indicating the larger bundles, “these are what concern me.”
“What’s in those?” Mari asked, her curiosity beginning to outweigh her doubt.
Ilya pulled back one of the wrappers, and a glint of silver caught the lamplight.
“A sword?” she squeaked. “What the hell am I supposed to do with that!?”