Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Book Spotlight: Legend of the Inero Dragon by J.F. Jenkins

Title: Legend of the Inero Dragon
Author: J.F. Jenkins
Published: January 2012 by Astraea Press
Page Count: 180 Pages
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Series: The Dragons Saga

Twin brothers Jason and Matthias Inero are the favorite sons of the great dragon lord of fire. More often than not they get whatever they want. Matt wants to do great things for his people while Jason wants to go off and explore the world. Both can have what they desire, but not until they take a bride and enter into adulthood.

Enter Kat and Gwen, two girls from very different backgrounds. Kat is happy to leave her home when the royal guard comes to bring her to loving arms of her childhood sweetheart, Matt. Gwen on the other hand is livid to be taken from her farm only to be thrust into Jason's life, and he's not to thrilled with the idea either. They have one year to find happiness with each other, or else they will be placed at the mercy of the ruthless dragon lord Lynx. Favorite or not, dragon law must be obeyed.

As their nation begins to prepare for war against a neighboring tribe, the brothers find themselves as key components in the battle plans. A dark prophet has had a vision of Inero victory, but at what cost? Both must decide where their loyalties lie and what they're willing to sacrifice – including each other – to achieve their goals.

Excerpt: Chapter One

She burst through the door. The only thing on her mind was: I have to get out of here before they do something worse.

“Katarina Annaleigh Reina, get back inside now!” her mother screamed. She kept running, not once looking back. Kat ran down the street until she was deeper into Inero City, then she slowed her pace. If neither of her parents had followed her yet, she wouldn’t need to keep pushing forward. She caught her breath as she passed by the small businesses and rundown shops along the edge of the city, not too far from the poorer housing community where she lived. Fortunately, she could walk anywhere she needed to go.

Inero City, though smaller in size than some of the other metropolises of the world, was still beautiful. Businesses were so crammed together they seemed to sit on top of one another. Behind the buildings was Inero Castle, always present and looming over the city like a watchful mother. No other structure was allowed to be built taller than it was because of some ancient law. Kat had a hard time imagining this since the castle was seven stories high. She’d heard rumors and seen pictures of the skyscrapers in Oceina City or Terran City rumored to be built taller, but she wasn’t sure if she believed they were real. Could men really build something that big? It didn’t feel right to her.

For the most part, she liked the tight quarters of the city. The community was a part of her life. Her neighbors cared for her in the place of her real family, and it was them she relied on.

She sent a text to her best friend of nearly five years, Matthias. Hopefully he was free. He had a way of making everything seem better just by smiling at her.

Are you busy?

I’ll be at the spot soon.

She loved how he just knew when she needed him. Then again, it wasn’t the first time he’d been there for her.

Kat walked three more blocks north then entered a small park with a yellow, plastic tube slide and a swing. She crawled up into the first curve in the slide then waited. About ten minutes later, she heard footsteps.

“Are you in here?” Matt’s voice echoed into the slide.

“Yeah,” she said.

The slide rocked as he climbed the stairs to the top entrance.

“I’m coming down.”

With a lot of clunking and thudding, Matt managed a slow enough speed so that he didn’t plow into her on his way down. He only skidded a little, his arm going over her body as he braced himself. Then he settled beside her, holding her hand in his.

“They didn’t hurt you, did they?” he asked.

“No, I got out of the house before they could think about it. I’ve learned to bail once the yelling starts,” she said, giving him a weak smile.

“They won’t when you come back?”

“No, I’m sure they’ll move on with their lives before then. If anything, they’ll be mad I bothered to come back. I wouldn’t if I had another place to go.”

He nudged her playfully, almost popping her out of position. “Someday you will.”

“Someday isn’t soon enough.” Her eyes closed as she exhaled slowly.

He squeezed her hand, making her feel safe again. “I bet you the Elite will come asking for you to join them any day now.”

“I hope so. Tell me about them again?” She’d only heard rumors, but Matt seemed to have some kind of inside source. He could have been lying to her to make her feel better but she doubted it. Either way, it was fun for her to dream.

“About the Elite?”

She nodded.

“They’re called the Elite because they are the most beautiful and powerful women in all of Inero. Chosen at a young age, they go on to marry important men, have great influence on the city, and are some of the most admired creatures on the planet. An Elite never has to worry about being safe or having enough. She is perfection.”

“You think I’m perfect?” she asked.

“I know you are,” he said, glancing at her.

“How do you know they’d pick me?”

Matt shrugged. “How could they not?”

“Hopefully it happens soon. I don’t know how much more of this I can take. Mom was about to murder me over the laundry. She found some lacy thong and started screaming at me over wearing naughty undies. I told her they weren’t mine. They were about three sizes too large for me. She wouldn’t hear it, of course.  Dad got mad too, but I guess it’s easier to blame me than for him to fess up.” She sighed, closed her eyes then put her head on Matt’s shoulder. They’d met at this exact park five years ago, and she was so glad. He was, by far, the best thing to have ever happened to her.

“A few more days,” he whispered.

“How do you know?” she asked.

“Because if they don’t come for you, I might have to take you away myself.”

“I won’t complain if you do,” she said. I’d rather be with you.

He cupped her chin gently, and she stared into his eyes. “I didn’t think you would, but I want you to have the best. It’s what you deserve: to be loved, cherished, and be given everything you could ever dream of. You’re a lot more beautiful than any of the Elite women I’ve seen, so you have to be a shoe‑in, especially now that you’re considered ‘of age.’ If they don’t come for you though, I will. Then you’ll never have to worry about being afraid again. I promise I will always take care of you.”

“Always?” she whispered.

He nodded, then his eyes focused on something in front of him that wasn’t there—that was his ‘thinking face.’ Matt knew something but he wasn’t sharing it, and she didn’t press him on it. He’d always been full of secrets, which she’d gotten used. She trusted him enough to fill her in when the time was right because he always did.

J.F. Jenkins lives in Minneapolis where she spends most of her time creating and plotting world domination – something that has been in the works for roughly 13 years.

In her free time she works as the local coffee wench and dominates the minions of the pixilated world on her PS3.

She’s also got a little man (J Walk) and a little man trapped in a big man’s body (J Dawg) to take care of along with her two fur babies Ushi and Tibu.


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