Its Release Day for
Beneath the Scales by Aurora Peppermint
Release Day: July 9, 2015
Published by Harmony Ink Press
Cover art by Anne Cain
Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press eBook & Paperback | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here
We’re celebrating the release today of our very own reviewer Aurora’s first published novel, Beneath The Scales, with Harmony Ink Press. Its an amazing accomplishment at any age, but especially at hers. Aurora is a true YA reviewer in every way and we are so proud to have her as a part of our team here at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words!
So check out that gorgeous cover by Anne Cain, read the blurb and excerpt below. And drop a line or two to Aurora and enter the contest for a gift card at the end.
Aurora Peppermint on Beneath The Scales and YA Stories
Writing Beneath the Scales was a huge labor of love for me. I came up with the character of Martus first, and Hal very soon after that. I really love their characters and throughout this book and the books that will follow it, I’ve just had such a great time seeing them grow and slowly become more comfortable with each other. I love to read young adult fiction, and I have found that I love writing it just as much. Working with teenage characters is so interesting because that time in a person’s life is so unique and, in the case of Beneath the Scales, the situation that Martus and Hal have found themselves in just makes an already complicated time even more so. Martus is in the position of being a guardian to his sister, stealing and doing unsavory jobs just to keep them from starving. And through the course of this book, his life just gets more complicated than before. From the things he learns about himself to the things he learns about the world around him, he really has a chance to change and improve his quality of life.
Besides just my characters, who had my heart from the moment that I came up with them, the plot of this book is really important to me too. So often, I find myself reading young adult books and absolutely loving them, but wondering how the fantasy world in the books I enjoy can connect to the real world. At the same time, I see teenagers, friends, struggling with their sexual and romantic identities, and struggling with being accepted for a whole host of other reasons. What I really wanted to show in this books was that everyone goes through these struggles, and it’s very possible to recover from them and it’s possible to still do great things for the world even if the world doesn’t have faith in you. I also wanted to show someone who both deals with prejudices being put against him, for a few reasons – his social status, his sexuality – but someone who is still prejudiced in his own ways. More importantly, I wanted show someone who was trying to overcome that prejudice.
I had a great time writing this book, I love the characters very much, and I am so excited to see where they go in the future and to share their upcoming journeys, and the journey they go through in this book, with you.
Fifteen-year-old orphan Martus is struggling to provide for his magically gifted sister, Elsaben. Stealing and working shady jobs might feed them, but it doesn’t bring in enough for the arcane books and training she sorely needs, and he knows he can’t keep it up forever. His reputation as a troublemaker is starting to put him in danger.
When Elsaben is carried off by a dragon who attacks their village and burns it to the ground, Martus swears revenge, expecting to either die or return a hero. He isn’t prepared for what he discovers in a cave in the mountains.
If he can put aside his prejudices, he might find a chance for a better life, a faithful new friend, and the opportunity to help someone more like himself than he realizes. His adventure could change everything—even the beliefs he’s always taken for granted.
Martus ran a hand lazily through his hair, then trailed his palm down to rub at his eyes, and finally let his arm flop down onto the bed beside him. It was light out already and he had to get up, much as he didn’t want to, but he was going to postpone waking fully as long as possible, just as he did every morning.
As a boy who had been punched in the stomach many times before, it was easy to recognize the feeling, but, through the crack of his eye—rather than the angry ex-lover of someone he’d pulled into his bed the night before, as he would usually see—his curly-haired little sister was visible.
“Mar! Up, up, up! You promised you’d take me with you today! ‘Member?” Bright eyes peered down into his, and Martus easily threw an arm around the small girl and pulled her off his stomach, mindful of her head when he plopped her down on the wood floor beside him.
“Yes, Elsaben. Sh.” Pulling a pillow over his face for a moment, Martus heaved a loud sigh, then tossed the pillow to the side and sat up. “Wh—” A yawn cut his question off, and his eyes wrinkled shut for a moment. “Where d’you want to go, darling?”
“I want to go wherever you go, Mar! “ Elsaben grinned, flopping on her stomach to grope under his bed before standing triumphantly with a bent up stick in her small hand, “You have my sa-word!” Martus couldn’t help laughing at that, ruffling his little sister’s hair and standing up.
“All right, then, little warrior, get dressed.” As he spoke, Martus tugged on his shirt and went looking for his day pants. The siblings didn’t have much since their parents died, but Martus always made sure his little sister had the basic necessities—clothes, food, water, something that could at least pass for a house—and a little more when he could manage it.
“Bet I’ll be ready quicker than you!” With that, Elsaben was out the door and hurrying down the stairs, hair flying out behind her.
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