Friday, April 3, 2015

Awakening by Shannon Duffy: Exclusive Excerpt Reveal


A thrilling, futuristic sci-fi novel set in a unique and thought-provoking world, from author Shannon Duffy.

Desiree Six (because she was born on a Friday) believes in everything the Protectorate stands for. She likes the safety and security of having her entire life planned out—her career, her mate, even the date of her death. She doesn't even think to question when Darian, her childhood friend and neighbor, is convicted of murdering his parents. They had seemed like such a loving family. But if he was convicted, then he must have done it.

Then Darian shows up in her room late one night. He has escaped from the Terrorscape—a nightmare machine used to punish all Noncompliants—and needs Desiree's help. What he tells her rocks her world to its core and makes her doubt everything she's ever been told. With this new information, will Desiree and Darian be able to escape the Protectorate before it's too late?

Releases: April 7, 2015

Pre-Order Links:

Amazon , B&N

About the Author:

I write middle grand and young adult books. I’m the author of the YA Paranormal romance SPECTRAL and the MG Fantasy Adventure series, GABRIEL STONE AND THE DIVINITY OF VALTA (Feb/12) and It’s sequel, GABRIEL STONE AND THE WRATH OF THE SOLARIANS (FEB/14). Look for my YA Cyberpunk, AWAKENING coming April 7th with Entangled Publishing.

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Exclusive Excerpt:

We pass by what feels like a million doors before she stops and opens one. Inside the small room are about fifteen other girls standing around and waiting. One girl is hopping around from one foot to the next so much that I don’t know if she’s excited, or if she has to go to the bathroom. I stifle a giggle. Another girl is gnawing on her thumbnail, and for some reason it makes me feel somewhat better. Maybe she isn’t too happy with her binding mate either. A few of the other girls are huddled together, giggling and whispering. At that moment I wish Laken was with me. I know she would help me relax.

“Let’s go, ladies,” the woman says before I can step inside the room. “Destiny waits.”

Destiny. It’s what we’ve always been brought up to believe in.

The girls stand, all in different styles of ivory-colored dresses. One girl’s dress is so short even I can’t help but blush when I notice it.

“I’m so excited,” a short blond-haired girl says to me, as she scoots by with a smile. After we’re all herded into the lift, the girl with the short dress fidgets uncomfortably and flattens her palms against her dark brown hair while looking in the mirrors that cover every surface of the lift.

Other than her dress being scandalously short, the girl is beautiful and has nothing to worry about. Her thick dark hair hangs to her waist, and her violet, almond-shaped eyes are made up to perfection. I wonder if she’s a make-up artist or if her parents hired someone to have it professionally done. The way she’s fiddling in the mirror I can only imagine she’s excited to see her binding mate and wants to look perfect for him.

Not only is she beautiful, but she’s most likely perfectly matched, too—maybe with one of the hottest guys in all of Tower. She’s probably already in love. A twinge of jealousy rushes through me and immediately I feel guilty. I’m not ugly; in fact I’m told that I’m pretty. But there’s pretty and there’s gorgeous. I sigh. I’d settle for pretty and dreamily matched.

Another girl I vaguely recognize from the Grange market, where I sell my artwork on weekends, sidles up next to the dark-haired girl, taps her shoulder, and whispers in her ear.

Immediately, the dark-haired girl lowers her hands from her hair.

And turns to look at me.

I suck my lower lip between my teeth, look down, and slide my hand over my dress subconsciously. I don’t know if they’re talking about me because they think something looks odd about me, or if I’d been staring. I glance at my reflection in the mirror. My skin looks a little pale, and I wish I brought some blush. I fluff the back of my hair and ignore them. Whatever. The lift finally comes to a stop and chimes, indicating the door is about to open. Keeping my gaze ahead, I follow the other girls out without looking back.

The staccato of our heels against the steel floor is out of sync, and I try to drown my thoughts into the clickety-clack sounds they create. I rush forward and blend in among a few other girls, leaving the dark-haired girl and her friend behind.

A knot twists inside me when we finally reach the enormous hall. I wonder where Asher is and if he’ll wear a look of disgust when he sees me. He already knows I’m his binding mate since I’ve been appearing in his dreams too, but I’m not sure if he’ll be able to contain his loathing for me.

Maybe he’s accepted our fate as well, I tell myself and hope it’s true. As much as I’m unhappy with the pairing, I hate that I must be just as much of a disappointment to him. As we pass through the arched doorway at the back of the room, my feet sink into something soft. Green grass spreads out beneath me. Although it looks completely real, I know it’s fake. I tilt my weight to my tippy-toes so that my heels don’t sink through. Above, the ceiling soars several stories into the air. Beams of sunlight pour in from the domed glass roof. I don’t remember it being quite this sunny today and wonder if the illusion of such bright sunlight is created by The Protectorate, or if the sun shining suddenly is a sign that Asher and I are meant to be.

Follow the Awakenings Excerpt Tour:

April 2nd Reading Teen
April 3rd Nose Stuck in a Book
April 4th Always YA at Heart
April 5th Once Upon A Twilight
April 6th Hypable

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