Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: January 9th 2017
Genres: Adventure, Dystopian, Young Adult
An award-winning YA adventure-packed romance steeped in Middle Eastern culture and set in the Asian Pacific amongst dangerous oceans and tropical islands.
Seventeen-year-old refugee Lux plots her escape from the island where her family is stranded, denying that her home was lost in the Floods. Lux is determined to get her old life back by any means possible. But before her feet even leave the sand, she’s taken hostage by a vengeance-driven pirate nearly as young as she is.
Her capture is the key to his freedom…
Captain Draven’s scarf veils more than his face. Underneath, he struggles between morality and survival. When Lux sees deeper into his motivations, she’s torn. She can commit mutiny to escape to a home that may no longer exist, or she can try to help Draven escape the clutches of the person responsible for the deaths of half the world. Staying would mean entrusting her life to a pirate. Helping Draven would mean losing her heart to one.
Uneasiness washed over me as I watched the sky. The clouds swept in farther and the sun was snuffed out. The strange, sweet smell of ozone filled the air, and the sound of pitter-patter grew as the clouds opened above us. The rain splattered across the wood and metal of the ship, creating a symphony of musical sounds. The sound gradually became louder and the top of my head became damp. Each droplet fell harder than the last.
“Lilou…” I grabbed her arm to take her toward the stairs. It was way too dark for this time of day, and the uneasiness advanced to dread in my gut. Something bad is going to happen. I just knew it. At that moment, Lilou vomited over the railing into the dark waters below. I pulled back her hair while she finished spitting up everything she had just eaten. A pang of sadness shot through me, knowing she would be going on an empty stomach and not knowing how long it would be until the next meal.
The waves lapped against the hull. I leaned over the railing. My eyes widened as I watched the contents of Lilou’s stomach ravished by sea creatures. A three-foot-long mackerel inhaled what floated on the water before a shark surfaced, ate the fish, and then consumed what was left of the vomit. A school of fish approached, followed by a frenzy of white foam and blood. I squeezed my eyes shut and tightened my grip on Lilou. The raindrops grew thicker, soaking my hair and dress.
“Lilou, we need to go below. Now.” I gave one last glance overboard. The sea creatures had vanished. I scanned the dark waters, but there was no sign of them. That’s odd. Lilou turned toward me and weakly nodded. Strands of wet hair glued to her face. I unstuck one with my pinky finger.
“I’d advise you to go below deck immediately.” A male voice that was both firm and warm spoke from behind us. I turned to find Ahmed. His eyes were wide, and had his voice shaken?
“Yes, we—”A wave pounded against the opposite side of the ship. Everything pitched forward, and the deck became almost vertical beneath our feet. Lilou, Ahmed, and I fell backward, hitting the railing behind us. Water spilled onto the ship, and the smell of brine was strong. Thankfully, I still held onto Lilou. I tried to stand, but another wave, fiercer than the first, hit. I slid backward, looking toward the sky in order to see the other side of the ship. My heart raced. The next wave that hit would cause the ship to capsize! I felt just as young and fragile as the girl I was trying to protect.
“Come,” Ahmed shouted, grabbing both of our arms, trying to get us to the hatchway ten yards away. Scrambling against the slimy wood, I grabbed a long rope tied to a cleat. I wrapped it around my wrist twice, not yet letting go of Lilou.
“Follow Ahmed,” I instructed Lilou as the wind bit my damp skin.
She fought the slippery floor. Ahmed pulled her upright and held on. I let go, following behind them as they struggled against the wind and gushes of rain.
The ship rolled in the other direction. Not good, not good, not good.
“Lilou,” I screamed over the rain. Before I could pull her to me, a third wave hit the hull. Lilou’s limp body flew over the side like a stuffed doll. Horrified, my whole body froze, even the breath that was on its way to my lungs. A thud and distinct sound of human flesh hitting water forced me into action.
“No,” I cried. Still holding the rope, I ran to the railing. Relief washed over me, stronger than the wave that had washed over the boat. Lilou was safe. She dangled on the side of the ship, fiercely gripping a fishing net. I searched the waters below.
Who had fallen in?
Jenna-Lynne Duncan likes to write heart-stopping, page-turning, haunting romance in all YA genres. Her current Young Adult releases are titled Hurricane, Tempest, and Aftermath (Divertir Publishing) and the forthcoming BLUE TIDE (Winter, 2017). Jenna graduated with degrees in Middle Eastern Studies, Political Science, and International Studies. BLUE TIDE was the recent winner of RWA’s Romancing the Lake contest. Besides writing, she loves traveling and children. Preferably together. She welcomes readers to contact her on social media or at JennaLynneDuncan@gmail.com.