Bookish

Star of Hope by Moira McPartlin (Excerpt)

Today, I am pleased to be bringing you an extract from Star of hope by Moira McPartlin, the final part in the Sun Song Trilogy, out now in both Paperback and Kindle editions, published by Fledgling Press.

‘Come on, we’re nearly there.’ Ishbel half-dragged Huxton forward, praying to her ancestors that she was right. They soon stumbled upon a small indigenous forest which had signs of coppicing, well cultivated and well-tended. She was right.

‘There must be a community near,’ she encouraged Huxton but he was staggering like a mash-head.

An old pine left growing too long looked ready to topple. She sat Huxton by it and scouted round. A massive root, its timber long gone, and left to rot was just the right size for her to manage. She dragged it to the tree.

‘Crawl under here and wait.’ He looked relieved and ready to sleep for a hundred years in the land of trolls.

    Ishbel crept into the forest. She closed her eyes and let her instincts move her forward. It wasn’t long before her instincts were screaming at her. Sixth sense told her to draw her stun and shrink her body into the smallest space she could find. On a tree to her right she detected movement. A boy, a sentry posted.  He hadn’t seen her. She could stun him but he would be sure to fall and hurt himself. She heard voices – baby whispers, unconcerned with danger. She heard an infant whimper and a soft lullaby that soon stopped the baby’s cry. She smelled something strange and guessed it was food by the way her belly rumbled in response. She held her hand against it, afraid the noises would alert the camp.

As she crept nearer she wondered how she would announce her arrival without being killed first. Should she whistle? She felt in her pocket. The clicker was there, a crude u-shaped metal clip, no bigger than her thumb. When depressed the metal sent out a loud click that proved a very effective communication tool. This was her signalling device to alert the rebels. First used over a century and a half ago by the French Resistance, it still worked. But this community was not rebel, it was too early, too close to the coast. Would they recognise this ancient signal for what it was?

The decision was taken from her. A rope grabbed her ankle, hoisted her skyward. Air whipped from her lungs, she cried out. She lost the stun. Her stomach somersaulted as the rope bounced then settled, spinning her round in slow gentle circles. When she opened her eyes she met the stares of a small group of children, dirty, ragged and hungry for blood.

About the Book

This third and final exciting volume of The Sun Song Trilogy finds Sorlie and Ishbel working together in one last attempt to save Esperaneo. As The Prince’s health deteriorates he hands over leadership of the Star of Hope’s mission to Sorlie and Ishbel. But what is the Star of Hope? All they know is that it will free the native race from slavery. On mainland Esperaneo Major, Ishbel travels north through a hostile artic forest while Sorlie, Reinya and Dawdle head for the southern dry lands. On the way both parties battle extreme weather and betrayal, but it is only when the two missions meet that the frightening truth of their world is revealed. And one final betrayal decides the fate of the mission and their fight for freedom. The Sun Song trilogy explores life in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic Britain where society’s norms have broken down and life has to be lived differently.  

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Wants of the Silent by Moira McPartlin (Excerpt)

How’s it going everyone! Today, I’m taking part in a blog tour the next book from Moira McPartlin’s Sun Song Trilogy! It’s out now in Kindle and Paperback versions. If you missed the previous book in the series, you can read about Ways of the Doomed here.

Excerpt

It was pitch black inside the van, the windows had been tarred out.  My chest was glued to the door and crate corners spiked my shoulder blades. Travelling in style.  I heard the cab door slam then we were off. I set my breathing to shallow and waited for the short trip to the tower to be over.

After about five minutes I heard another engine roar behind us. The driver swore, the van weaved, braked. The crate pressure released, then whammed me into the door with the velocity of a bullet. I felt a rib snap.  A shot fired outside, Vanora roared in anger or pain. More shots. Then silence. I shoved at the door, it didn’t budge. Was it Pirates, the Military, the same beings who shot Ridgeway from the sky? I checked my comms for a signal – dead. No, not dead, blocked, I could see the signal with the cross through it. It had been aeons since I heard Vanora roar.   My belly turned to water, I felt in my pocket for my knife. I pressed an ear to the window and heard scuffling. Putting my back against the door I pushed, I eased a hand free but didn’t want to punch in case they heard. I might be able to make a run for it. The door didn’t budge. If they wanted the cargo why didn’t they come? I heard a door slam, another engine rev then drive off, leaving the only sound, the thudding of my heart.

The door inner mechanism felt gritty, rusted.  I hooked my finger through it and pulled it up.  The force almost broke my finger and the door stayed firm.  I pushed it down. Nothing. I levered back into the crates, but there was no room to manoeuvre.  Sweat trickled my spine, I leaned into the door again, a panic fluttered on my belly. I couldn’t breathe, it was like the time the power failed in the prison and I nearly suffocated. I balled my fist to punch, then something stopped me. A sound from outside.  Giggling? Shouts, laughing. Doors closed, the van engine fired, filthy fumes filled my small space. The van shuddered forward, kangarooed, stalled, laughs, fired again, began to move. I yanked the door, a dread filled me. I kicked, breath short, my ribs ached. The van jounced from side to side, bounced. Somehow I managed to twist my foot up to the tarred window, I kicked, my knee locked.  The van bucked. Curdling screams rang from the cab. The crates fell, rumbled, the world rocked, my head under heels and a box on my chest, rolling, rolling and I knew I was done for.

About the Book

This second thrilling volume of the Sun Song trilogy takes Sorlie to the floodlands of southern Esperaneo to discover that family, love and resilience can triumph against even the harshest regime. Escaping from the penal colony on Black Rock, Sorlie joins his grandmother Vanora’s revolutionary army, expecting to find freedom. Instead he finds murder and mayhem. With her army in disarray and her network of supporters disappearing, Vanora chooses Sorlie to become her warrior. When Vanora is kidnapped, Sorlie becomes injured and marooned in the strange reservation of Steadie where old people and specials are hidden and protected from The State. But these outcasts are not the only secrets Steadie keeps. Why is Sorlie kept drugged for over a week? What are their links to The Blue Pearl Society? Why are they so wary of the Noiri black marketeers? And who is The Prince everyone is whispering about? The Sun Song trilogy explores life in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic Britain where society’s norms have broken down and life has to be lived differently. 

Bookish

Ways of the Doomed by Moira McPartlin (Excerpt)

Today, I am pleased to be bringing you an extract from Ways of the Doomed by Moira McPartlin, out now in both Paperback and Kindle editions, published by Fledgling Press.

I smelled the fear. Not from the old man: this was his domain and his confidence shone brighter than the buttons on his coat. It could have been my stench, but more likely it was seeping from the abyss ahead.

‘We must pass some prisoners’ cells to reach my private quarters. This will be the only time. After today you will never be permitted access to the Penitentiary.’   

What about when I leave?   But the question stayed cradled in a pocket of worry at the back of my mouth.

‘Walk by my side,’ he said. ‘Don’t make a sound. Don’t even breathe.’

I nodded. It seemed my voice had packed up and left with Ishbel.

Emerging from the shadows at the other end of the corridor a Military style guard stood rigid. His uniform was flat black and he carried an old fashioned automatic rifle.  A riot baton hung on his belt. His eyes never wavered from some fixed point above our heads, even when he clicked his heels in salute. My grandfather ignored him and poked me in the back with a sharp finger.

‘Move!’

Blood thundered round my body and I put my hand to my chest to try to catch the pulse to quieten it. Could the prisoners hear it or did they have their own sounds?  I imagined huddled beings, behind doors, ears pressed to cold metal, listening for our footsteps. The temptation to flop to my belly and crawl the length of the corridor was so strong I hunched to keep low, afraid of disturbing the pregnant air. The sound of my heels clattered like rocks on a snare drum. The locked doors crowded me, the corridor stretched, narrowed and with each step the guard seemed to move farther away. A voice from somewhere sizzled and singed the hair on my nape, Grandfather’s step missed a beat, I lost my footing and tripped.  He grabbed my arm before I fell my length and jerked me forward like a naughty child to be punished and sent to bed early.

Sweat soaked my oxters and groin and by the time we reached the guard I wanted to pee, but to ask to pee at this stage would be impossible, I probably couldn’t do it anyway.

About The Book

Book 1 of The Sun Song Trilogy.

It’s the year 2089 and everything is altered. The revolutions of the early 21st century have created a world divided – between the Privileged few and the Native (Celtic) underclass. Sorlie is enjoying a typical carefree Privileged teenage life until it is smashed apart by the cruel death of his parents and he is spirited away to live with his ice-cold grandfather at a mysterious island penal colony. Sorlie’s discovery that the captives are being genetically altered to remove all trace of their Native origins triggers a chain of shocking events that reveal his grandfather’s terrible secrets and, ultimately, the truth about himself.