YA Indie Carnival: District Indie

Today on the Indie Carnival we are doing excerpts of characters or scenes in our books that might show up in the Hunger Games. The main character in Pazuzu’s Girl, because we write what we know, is not a super-dooper athlete. She’s kind of like me in some ways. I was Ally Sheedy in the Breakfast Club. Picture Ally Sheedy with a bow.

After they set up camp and had their meal, Morpho nagged until Ninhab agreed to begin training her. But he began with the most ‘boring stuff’: how she stood. Holding the great golden bow taut, she squirmed with impatience as he corrected her stance for what felt like the millionth time in the past hour. He fixed her drawing fingers on the string, straightened her elbow and taught her how to sight down the arrow to the target he had set up on a tree in a deserted region of the park.

It was a wooden board with two bull’s eyes painted in dry erase marker within a picture of Lamashtu. One target was the head and one was the body, rendered as a stick figure with fangs, cartoon snakes for hair, and stick arms with claws. He was not an artist.

On his count of three, she released the bow string. The arrow flew to the target. It smashed into the wood and exploded in a crack of lightning that splintered the trunk and showered them with fragments of bark. Ninhab grabbed Morpho and dove to the ground, rolling. They came to rest as Morpho yelled, “Holy shit! It fires exploding arrows! Wicked cool! That’s way better than an Uzi!”

Ninhab lay on his back, stared at the sky through the unburned trees and sighed. “Please keep your voice down.”

The huge face of Gallursa appeared over him, blocking out the sky, his voice full of mirth. “You didn’t remember what your bow did?”

“Nope.”

Ninhab stood up and brushed himself off.

Morpho was already hopping around. “Let’s do that again! I need lots of practice!”

Lugal was leaning on a non-blasted tree nearby, munching on Ninhab’s cheese puffs, his face turned away in laughter.

“You knew though,” Ninhab remarked to Lugal.

“Yes,” Lugal said through a mouthful of puffs covered in cheese spread.

“Stop stealing my dinner.”

“I thought you hated ‘junk food.’”

“I do. Stay out of my food. What happened to yours?”

Lugal sauntered over and handed him the bag. Ninhab swiped it back and went to see the arrow. It lay shining, yards behind what was left of the tree. Its golden head was still intact and glowing. He picked it up gingerly, though it didn’t appear to be emitting any heat.

“All right, warrior, is this thing radioactive?” Ninhab looked at Lugal.

“Not precisely, no.” Lugal shook his head, a smirk still on his face. “It will not give you cancer, little man, if that is what you are worried about.”

Ninhab just glared at him and said to Morpho, “We can’t shoot the arrows for practice. They destroy the target with…some kind of explosive. As much fun as I know that is, it will attract too much attention, not to mention wreck a lot of trees.”

“So how do I practice?”

He frowned, rubbing his forehead. “Well, you can practice your stance. Posture and draw are a lot. If you have bad stance, your arrows won’t go where you want. Practice that and sighting. That will help.”

She rolled her eyes, picked up the bow again and started practicing.

“After you get bored, we’ll practice fighting.” Lugal commented. “And you better practice too, teacher. You’ve done nothing lately, I imagine, except wrestle papers.”

Ninhab picked up his mace, reluctantly.

Lugal drew his axe and hastened toward Ninhab. “Defend yourself.”

“What? Wait!” Ninhab scrambled away.

“You haven’t used that mace in thousands of years. You don’t even remember what your weapons do. How are you going to use them? By drawing doodles of yourself hitting Lamashtu over the head? Fight with it!”

“Against you?”

“Me, or Gallursa, if you prefer.”

Gallursa raised his head from devouring the last of the soggy convenience store egg rolls, and then the cold hot dogs. He flexed his giant wings and talons.

Ninhab looked back to Lugal, tugged his disheveled shirt down and gripped his mace. “Bring it, warrior.”

Lugal roared, darting forward in an obvious frontal assault. Ninhab waited until Lugal was a foot from him. Then he swung the mace low at the warrior’s knees and sidestepped to bring himself out of Lugal’s charge. The burly man grinned in a last-second feint and dodged to the side, behind Ninhab, planted his knee in the small of the slight man’s back and shoved. Ninhab sprawled into the grassy weeds with a whump. Lugal commented, “A bit out of pract—”

Ninhab had risen and tackled the big man in a football grip around the warrior’s narrow midriff, as his foot hooked the rear of Lugal’s knee. Lugal, caught off guard, went down onto his back under the smaller man and they slammed onto the ground, throwing up a fountain of dirt.

Morpho lowered the bow and watched with a disbelieving grin. She glanced over at Gallursa who was observing nonchalantlywhile emptying the last of Ninhab’s and Lugal’s cheese snacks. He looked back at her and shrugged.

“That’s my principal,” she said incredulously.

“Did students ever misbehave?”

“I’ve never seen him like this. I never knew he could fight. He was always so…prissy.”

“He was a god.”

She squinted in disbelief.“He’s Mr. Agresti.”

“But once he was Ninurta, lion-god of the plough. Perhaps he needed some inspiration to remember.”

She chuffed. “Is everyone around here a god except me?”

“He is not a god anymore and may never be again. That does not matter. He is doing something. You are a demi-goddess. You were born of gods.”

“But I can’t do anything. Yipe!” She leaped out of the way as Lugal and Ninhab barreled past her, struggling and grunting. Ninhab was clinging to Lugal’s back with his legs wrapped around his waist and two fingers hooked in his nose.

Gallursa ignored them. Morpho stepped back to where she was and sulked. The bow dangled from her fingers.

Gallursa continued, “You are learning to do powerful things. Give yourself time. Whatever your talents, you are standing up and doing something. A person is a god by birth or by the grace of another god. A god is made by another. You make yourself a hero. A hero does what needs to be done. Your teacher…” he nodded toward the pair, who had now flipped around so that Lugal pinned Ninhab to the ground. Ninhab struggled while frantically trying to wipe his fingers that had been in the warrior’s nose, on the grass. Lugal barred his elbow across Ninhab’s forehead and rubbed the fastidious man’s cheek in the dirt.

Gallursa snorted a laugh and continued, “Your teacher is a hero. Or he will be when it is time and when Lugalbanda finishes schooling him.”

She looked at them, bursting into laughter. Then her face grew pensive. Her eyes filled with tears. “JD was a hero.”

End Excerpt

That was pretty much the only time she hits anything with an arrow for a long time, that she’s supposed to hit.

Now I would like to draw your attention to a very special What’s New Post, and an excerpt from one of our author’s new releases!

The final book in The Raven Saga, The Lost Soul by Suzy Turner, is now AVAILABLE!!
BLURB
December and Lilly have got their work cut out for them. Not only are they desperately trying to figure out the identity of the Lost Soul, and track him down, they’ve also got to investigate why Powell River’s newest resident has got all of their men falling at her feet.
But when they learn that the Nephilim might be involved, it becomes clear that they’re all in extreme danger…
EXCERPT
The stench of something rotten filled the air as the man tried to lift his heavy head. Opening his eyes, it took a moment for them to adjust to the strange dull light of a new day. Wincing, he managed to hold his head up just long enough to notice the smell belonged to a rotting corpse to his side. He heaved, but there was nothing left in his stomach. He hadn’t eaten in days.
Weak, cold and hungry, he curled into a ball on the mossy ground and sobbed.
When he no longer had the strength to even do that, he stared up at the sky; the orange and yellow hues entwined in a rainbow effect as far as his eyes could see.
The only sounds that could be heard were his rough breathing combined with the gentle whooshing of the silver trees that surrounded the deep ditch within which he found himself.
A hummingbird appeared from nowhere, hovering above him, flying up and down and around his face. The man tried to focus his eyes upon it but his vision had become blurry.
When the bird came to an abrupt halt almost touching his nose, he realised it wasn’t a bird at all.
A faint giggle erupted from the creature, making him jump.
“No, this can’t be,” he whispered, hoarsely.
The little creature with large blue wings nodded back, “Yes, it can,” she responded, “I can see you are in dire need of help. I will gather my friends and we will return to get you out of here. You will be safe. Do not worry.”
Disappearing out of sight in a flash, the man collapsed once more before he fell into a deep sleep.
To get your copy for just $0.99, visit US AMAZON 
http://www.amazon.com/Lost-Soul-Raven-Saga-ebook/dp/B007NHUEAO/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_4
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