Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Author Spotlight: Guardian by Katie Hines
Imagine you have made a secret promise that can lead you to the discovery of an incredible treasure and an ancient power. But in order to fulfill that promise, you must defeat an age-old sect that is determined to claim the treasure and power themselves.
Drew Newman is ready to tell his friends a secret, but two strangers burst on the scene, demanding an ancient, magical, book. He plummets into a world of uncertainty and fear as his home is invaded and he desperately tries to find the book.
Aided by the mysterious Jean-Paul, Drew’s search takes him and friends to Oak Island, Nova Scotia, where he continues his search. Joined with his Grandpa Ian and cousin, Zea, the tension ratchets up when Drew is kidnapped and he encounters the head of a sect that wants the book, a magical talisman and a treasure, for themselves.
Sprinkled with magic, Guardian explores the commitment of a boy determined to fulfill his promise to his mother and claim an uncertain destiny.
Read an Excerpt!
“This is a secret meeting,” Drew Newman whispered as he pulled his letterman’s jacket close about his lean runner’s body. He sat perched on a log beside the crackling fire at the edge of his backyard. His green eyes darted back and forth between his two friends. “You can’t tell anyone what we’re going to talk about.”
“Dude, I’m a ‘real man.’ Of course I can keep a secret.” Javon Manson ground out an ember that popped from the fire. He fiddled with his do-rag and dreadlocks threatened to spill out. He shifted his muscular body as he tried to find a comfortable position on his log.
Mattie Royz shivered as a chill wind tossed her red hair into blue eyes. She pulled her windbreaker tight around her petite, slightly plump frame. “Oh my gosh, Javon, you are so lame. I’m not a ‘real man,’ but I can keep a secret, too.”
“All right.” Drew slid the marshmallow off his roasting stick and popped it in his mouth. Hearing a noise, he turned toward the trees that stood beyond the flickering light of the fire.
At that moment, a tall, broad man carrying a sword stepped from the night’s shadows and approached the teens, a dark hood hiding his face. A gust of wind brought the smell of rain and tossed his long, black cloak aside, revealing a pristine white tunic. A red sash belted his waist.
Drew sucked in his breath as the man cat-walked up to him, sword held at his side.
“Stand up,” the man commanded, pointing his sword at Drew. Shaking, Drew gulped and stood, then tripped on a loose shoestring.
“Stand up,” the man said. When Drew stood, the man lifted the tip of his sword to Drew’s chin. “Where is it?”
“Where is what?”
“Don’t trifle with me. Where is the book?”
Drew was so nervous he couldn’t think. “What book?”
“Yeah, what book,” Javon said, surprising Drew. Drew glanced at Javon and Mattie, who had come to stand beside him, nervously shifting from one foot to another.
“Shh,” Drew whispered.
“It’s a very special book,” the man prodded again. “You know which one.”
Drew wiped his sweaty hands on his Levi’s, inhaling the familiar, pungent odor of the campfire. Only one book was special--a journal. His mom’s journal. He’d touched it, and when he’d done so, it had left a peculiar webbed scar on the back of his left hand. She’d cautioned him not to tell anyone about the book or how he’d gotten the scar. Since he had not told anyone about the book, what could this man know of it?
“Are you talking about my mom’s journal?” Drew asked.
“Your mom’s, hmm. Yes, that would be it. Where is it?”
“I don’t know. It must be lost because I haven’t seen it in years.”
“This book is not lost,” the man said, his voice flat and hard.
A second man wearing a black leather jacket and jeans slid out from the night’s shadows. His sword reflected the fire’s flames. The first man withdrew his sword from beneath Drew’s chin, leaned into his friend, and the two men whispered. The interrogator looked at Drew, who shivered in the damp wind. “You are fortunate, young man, that pressing matters require my attention elsewhere. I will see you again.”
At that, he sheathed his sword, and the two men disappeared into the darkness. The three teens stared at each other. Would the men come back? Were they in danger? A soft, cool rain began to fall as Javon hollered, “Run! Run!”
Katie Hines has been writing snippets here and there as long as she can remember. When in 8th grade, she wrote a short story called, “Underworld.” Then, in high school, she wrote several poems that were published in an anthology.
Marriage and raising two children contributed to putting away writing for a few years, but she came back to it while in her 40s. Since that time, she has been a contributing feature writer and columnist for a local newspaper, has written several features articles for another area newspaper, and wrote religious and humor articles for an online Catholic ezine.
Her short story, “My Name is Bib,” was published by the Loch Raven Review in October, 2008.
Having found a publisher for Guardian, a middle grade urban fantasy, Hines is currently working on another fantasy novel as well as a couple of chapter books, and is extending “My Name is Bib” into a full young adult novel.
You can visit Katie online at www.katiehines.com and at her blog, http://katiehines.blogspot.com. She is also on Facebook and Twitter.