Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra's Nest Featured in BookDaily

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Young Adult Fantasy & Romance Oct. 14, 2012
Today's Featured Title

The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra's Nest

by Fumi Hancock
ISBN / ASIN: 147594537X
My weary eyes opened to an ominous sky speckled with dim stars and a huge full moon dappled with unsettling, flaming balls of fire. I was in an unfamiliar setting, an open space surrounded by terrifying, blazing fires, and the humming of a charter aircraft shattered the stillness of the night.
Mum and Darwin hopped out of the car, with me following, and we hastened toward the small aircraft.
“What’s this?” I kept asking, with no answer from Darwin or Mum.
“Are we going on that?” I asked again, ducking a cloud of sand blown from the ground, a result of the blazing fires and rumbling aircraft.
In front of us was a six-foot-tall, dark-skinned man, dressed in a dark blue pilot’s uniform. His eyes showed great anticipation as he struggled to move toward us. No sooner had we closed the distance to the aircraft when we heard the terrifying staccato of gunshots …

Chapter 1. Transformation
The children in my neighborhood gathered to play under a half moon seated comfortably in the sky. In this sixty-five-degree weather, we watched the heavy rain flow in waves through the narrow, muddy streets.

Though the streetlights were dimly lit, the Christmas lights, so bright yet so decadent, on the fourteen houses in the courtyard made up for the darkness. In this festive ambiance, I paraded myself in my favorite T-shirt—sleeveless, jet black—layered underneath my navy blue hooded sweatshirt, shamelessly bedazzled with bronze studs in the shape of a giant hawk on the back, and my brown jean pants, covered with cuts and slits … a fashion statement entirely wrong for the rainy season. The spikes shooting out of my wristbands made a chinking sound as I rubbed them together, announcing my presence on Milner Court. If Mum knew I was wearing this outfit again, she would go off the deep end! Regardless of how she felt about my “gothic God-forsaken” style, as she would often refer to it, my friends were somewhat used to my dressing. For me, I commanded respect in school dressing like that. Students were afraid of meddling in my business. Besides, this was my lucky shirt, and I was wearing it to win the race ahead.

Lying gracefully between the Vaal River in the north and the Orange River in the south, with rolling grassland and fields of crops rising to a lovely sandstone mountain, is Milner Court, Bloemfontein, a suburb nestled in the middle of Free State, South Africa. Though Mum, Dad, Jody, and Stephen had been born in the farmlands of Limpopo, a northern province of South Africa, they worked hard to ensure the very best of living for our family. Mum often told us she was never afraid of working. She strongly believed her great-grandparents who came from Ireland and Britain to settle down in South Africa, as well as her black South African connection by way of her mum, had gifted her with a hard work ethic as they worked to briskly tend to their farmlands. Mum was a retired high school home economics teacher, and Dad, a mix-breed creation of a Dutch and German union, had worked his way from second lieutenant to major general and now lieutenant general. One more bump up the success ladder, and he would become the general!

Living in this suburb was their way of telling the world that they had arrived and were able to fend for themselves and their offspring. It was certainly their wish that their children would gladly embrace their gift of hard work, starting with bringing home great grades—a dream that was yet to be fulfilled in my case!

In the midst of this success lay a recent rumor of a potential unrest by the military troop in the country. The people’s dissatisfaction with the government leadership was unveiled by series of riots, led by the youths alongside those Mum called South African hooligans. They were attempting to change the system by relentless, often violent demonstrations across our state. While I was pleased with Dad’s promotion, it was also of great concern that one day, these hooligans, or perhaps the military itself, under the guise of protecting the nation, would eventually succeed in bringing anarchy into the peaceful communities we enjoyed. More importantly, my fear that Dad would one day be called upon to defend the country he loved with his life was a thought I most readily tucked at the back of my mind while playing on Milner Court. I had succeeded in tucking away my fears simply because, though we heard the erratic voices of rioters often on Milner Court, their venom had not spread into our peaceful suburban communities yet. Ignorance is bliss, as they say. If this was true, we were living in an ignorant haven on Milner Court under dad’s protection.

Continues...                                                                                               BUY NOW
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