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today 6/2/16 on aobibliosphere™ [aobibliospotlight™: A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart]

Monday, March 26, 2012

01 WordCrafts Press: the Awakening of Leeowyn Blake by Mary Parker

The Awakening of Leeowyn Blake
by Mary Parker
genre: Young Adult, fantasy
format: print, e-book
publisher: WordCrafts Press

The Awakening of Leeowyn Blake
I’m a normal teenager. I have a normal teenage life with normal teenage problems. The summer is my heaven. I live with my mom during the summer months. We stay in her tiny condo in Jacksonville, Florida. My parents split up when I was little. I’m not sure why. My mom never talks about it. Whatever it was, it was bad enough to make my mom pack me up in the middle of the night when I was four years old and run to my Gran’s condo.My mom got the condo after Gran died. From that time on all I had known my entire life was beach life.
Until four years ago.
Until my uncle found me.

Chapter 1

Why is it that I only ever want to buy sunglasses when it’s autumn and the skies are in a perpetual state of overcast? 
I know what you’re thinking. 
Couldn’t I just save them? Wear them in the spring and summer? It’s not like sunglasses have an expiration date. At least not in anything but fashion. Not that fashion has ever been on my Top Ten list of things that matter. Or even my Top Twenty.
I’m getting sidetracked.
The thing is, I only ever buy sunglasses in the fall because I’m desperately clinging to that last bit of summer. In the summer I can be a normal teenager. I can spend it on the beach, hanging out with my friends, staying up way too late and sleeping until noon if I want. 
I’m a normal teenager. I have a normal teenage life with normal teenage problems. The summer is my heaven.
I live with my mom during the summer months. We stay in her tiny condo in Jacksonville, Florida. 
My parents split up when I was little. I’m not sure why. My mom never talks about it. 
Whatever it was, it was bad enough to make my mom pack me up in the middle of the night when I was four years old, and run to my Gran’s condo.
My mom got the condo after Gran died. It's not like it was this big, grand vacation home; more like a little cottage. But it was enough for us. The first couple years were shaky, and there were more than a few times when the money just wasn't there, but mom never backed down or asked for help.
It was tough, but we made it through, and from that time on all I had known my entire life was beach life.
Until four years ago. 
Until my uncle found me. 
Apparently my dad's family had not been doing anything for the last ten years other than trying to find me. 
My mom may be a bit scatter-brained, but when she sets her mind to something, she does it. 
My mom had set her mind on us disappearing. 
It was mid-November, the night of my fourteenth birthday. Mom had splurged on this huge monstrosity of a cake. We were sharing it when we heard a knock on the door. Mom answered it as I continued working on my third slice. 
At first I thought it was just some pushy salesman. There seems to be lots of them in Jacksonville these days. I could hear muffled, angry words. 
That struck me as odd, because my mom was never the type to be rude to anyone. She would be more likely to invite the salesmen in for a cool glass of lemonade and whatever store-bought baked goods she had on hand, even though she never bought anything from them. 
“Your Gran would turn over in her grave if she knew I wasn’t showing these people some real Southern hospitality,” she always said when I got annoyed with her for constantly letting strangers into our house.
I didn’t inherit my mom’s patience. Nor her sense of Southern hospitality. 
When I heard my mom starting to raise her voice I knew something was wrong. I was up and out of my chair in an instant.
I grabbed the first blunt object my hands came in contact with as I rounded the corner into the living room, wielding my mom’s umbrella like it was a broadsword. 
Points for trying, right?
“Look, Bud, if my mom doesn’t want to buy anything, then she doesn’t…” 
My voice died in my throat.
Mom was crying, and shaking. 
I had never seen such a sight. I mean, ever.
My mom just doesn’t cry. 
As shocked as I was by the sight of my mother in tears, I was more shocked by the man standing in the doorway. 
He was at least six feet tall. His red hair was mussed out of place and he was wearing a well-tailored, three-piece suit, which made him look out of place. 
I mean, this is Jacksonville. No one wears a suit in Jacksonville. Not unless they plan on sweating to death. 
I noticed all of that in a moment, but none of that mattered once I noticed his eyes.
He had my eyes. 
I don’t have normal green, blue, brown or even violet eyes. 
I have tawny eyes; almost yellow, really. 
My mom’s eyes are the color of a calm sea, so I knew without asking that I got my eyes from my father.
And this man had my eyes.
“Dad?” I whispered. 
The man half-smiled as he stepped into the living room. 
My mom tensed and glowered at him.
“No, Leeowyn,” the man said. “I am not your father. I am your uncle; your father’s brother.” 
That stopped me in my tracks. I never knew my dad even had a brother. 
Truth be told, I didn’t know much of anything about my dad. The only thing of my father’s that my mom kept when she left was his last name - Blake. 
My mom and I pretended he didn’t exist. It was like an unspoken rule between us.
I had always been curious about my father, but the few times I got up the nerve to ask about him, my mom got the saddest, far-off look in her eyes. She wouldn’t say another word the rest of the day. I learned fast that it was an off-limits topic.
I tightened my grip on the umbrella. 
The curiosity that I had kept on a tight leash my entire life began to gnaw against the restraint of my better judgment. My mom was still shaking and sobbing silently. It ripped my heart out to see her like that. 
The man in the doorway – my uncle; my father’s brother - was the reason. If he had only been within reach of my umbrella I would have… but no such luck.  
“Your father is dead,” he said. 
I cast a sideways glance at my mom. 
Not even a flinch from her.
Not a flinch from me, either. 
It’s not that I’m a cold person, but hey, you can’t miss someone you’ve never known, right?
“Oh,” I said.
The man in the doorway - my uncle; my father’s brother - continued staring at me with those yellow eyes like he was waiting for some kind of reaction. 
“Um…that’s real sad,” I managed. I was starting to feel really uncomfortable. 
He just continued staring at me. I suppose he was hoping for a more stereotypical response to the news of the death of one’s father. 
He didn’t get it.
He shrugged, walked uninvited into the room, turned and sat himself down on our faded blue couch, looking terribly out of place with his crisp suit and somber expression. 
I finally relinquished my grip on the umbrella and tossed it down on a side table. I looked at Mom for some indication of what I should do next, but she looked as lost as I felt. After a few more nonresponsive moments, I slowly sat in a chair across from the stranger intruding in my living room and my life.
The silence in the room was as thick as a late-April thunderstorm that refused to break, crackling with pent up electricity, gagging the thunder that wrestled to break free.
It scared me.
It thrilled me.
“On his deathbed your father made me swear that I would find you,” my father’s brother finally said. He paid no mind to my mom who looked as if she were about two seconds away from jumping up and driving the umbrella through his heart.
“You have a right to know who you are. You have a right to know your father’s family. It is a right your mother stole from you.” 
“Okay, hold it!” I exploded out of my chair and into his face. 
Something inside me snapped. I stormed towards him with balled fists. Not that I expected to do much with them. It’s not like I have a black belt in karate or jujitsu or anything. But no one insults my mom. Not to my face. I was fiercely loyal to my family and she was the only family I had. At least she was until this guy showed up.
“No one talks about my mom like that! She has stolen nothing from me. She has sacrificed everything to make sure I have a good life!” 
My uncle held up his hands in mock self-defense. The expression on his face clearly stated that he was trying to appease a cranky, ill-mannered child.
“Your mother sacrificed for herself, Leeowyn, not for you. She was selfish.” 
He spoke as if my mom wasn’t two feet away from him. I couldn’t believe she wasn’t snapping him in two right then. She was not the type of woman to take disrespect lying down. 
“Please, sit down,” my uncle said. “Give me a chance to explain.” 
His voice softened. The compelling look in his yellow eyes made me swallow the quick retort that had leapt to my tongue. It was the same look I always saw in my mom’s eyes when she looked at me; like I was a hidden treasure, and only she knew my worth.
It was creepy.
“I’m sorry, but we’re in the middle of a birthday party.” 
My mom had finally found her voice, snapping me out of my state of confusion. The cake in the kitchen was long forgotten and I had no desire to revisit it. My party was the last thing on my mind at the moment.
I disliked this man for the way he talked to my mom. Yet even though he was a complete stranger, his presence pulled at me, taunting my curiosity like raw meat dangling in front of a lion’s cage. 
All my life I had lived without a father. I squashed all my questions out of respect for my mom. Now I had a chance to get some answers. Was I really going to pass that up?
I turned my face toward my mom, knowing what I was about to do would betray everything she had ever done for me. 
“I’ll be back in an hour.” 

where to purchase the book:
about the author:
Mary Parker
Mary Parker is an award winning writer and speaker. born into a theatrical family, she is comfortable on the stage. while still in elementary school she appeared in a regional stage production of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever in the pivotal role of Imogene Herdman. while still in high school she was cast in the iconic role of Mary Warren in The Crucible, and she created the role of the American socialite, Hetty Merton in the world premier stage production of Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray.
Mary tried college, but after experimenting with degree programs in art, English, broadcast media and marketing – and ending up bored out of her skull – she determined college was not her calling. at least not for the foreseeable future.
waiting tables for the rest of her life didn’t appeal to her either.
a story-teller at heart, Mary turned her attention to her first love – books. the result is her first novel, The Awakening of Leeowyn Blake.
follow her on the web:

i would like to say thank you to author Mary Parker and CE Edwards, Senior Publicist at WordCrafts Press & WordCrafts Theatrical Press for providing the information above and to you as well for stopping by. 

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