Curse of Stars
(Diamond Crier #1)
Publication date: February 19th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Sabi Perez is the last Diamond Crier, only she doesn’t know it. Not until a crazed ruler from another world comes to collect her priceless tears and won’t take no for an answer.
Living in New York, Sabi’s seen some nasty things, but the lengths to which her captor will go to keep his crown are things found only in the darkest nightmares. Afraid and alone, Sabi finds solace in her cellmate, Anya, and Cabal, a fellow Crier who also has powers, a rare combination that buys his favor from the ruler. Only it’s a favor he doesn’t want.
In a fit of rage, power erupts out of Sabi, the same power Cabal has, and a spark of hope ignites. Together they may have a chance at escape, something no other Crier has done. Except a ruler hellbent on draining them of every last diamond tear isn’t their only hurdle. If they escape they’ll be hunted to the ends of the earth, if they survive the trek to safety. If they stay the ruler will leech them dry. Sabi would rather die trying than lie down and die, even if that means running away into even more danger.
“. . . vividly imagined and deftly plotted dark fantasy . . .” BookLife Prize in Fiction
“Quiet,” Papa hissed.
“No!” Sabi said in a harsh whisper. “Tell me what’s going on.”
Papa faced forward, his eyes to the front of the bus. Sabi looked forward too and watched the driver board, take his seat at the wheel, and close the door. A few seconds later the engine revved and they bounced out of the station, going someplace that wasn’t Sabi’s home.
Sweat beaded on Papa’s forehead. His eyes were wide and his pupils dilated. If Sabi didn’t know better she’d think he looked strung out. She’s seen the same look on some of the junkies in the neighborhood. Only Papa was clean. His hands rested in his lap, each finger wringing the other. He dropped his head and blinked. When he looked back up, looked over to Sabi, tears brimmed in his eyes.
Perezes don’t cry. It was their family’s war cry. Immigrants to the city, they’d faced too much. There was never room for tears. And now she watched a lone tear track down her Papa’s cheek. Her chin quivered.
“Papa,” she whispered.
“I’m afraid,” he said, his voice choked. “Our past has finally caught up with us.”
“What past?” Matti asked as she popped up over the seat.
Mama hissed and a deluge of Spanish came tumbling out of her mouth. Matti disappeared behind her seat and Sabi could hear Mama’s voice murmur through the gap in the cushions.
“We are not from here,” Papa said. Sabi made to speak but he held up his hand to stop her. “Not only this country. This world.”
She heard the words but she didn’t understand them. “You’re joking.” It was the only response she could manage.
Papa shook his head. He inhaled deeply and sniffed. “Our name is not Perez. It’s Petris.”
Ice trailed down Sabi’s spine as she heard that name for the second time that day. It wasn’t making sense. “That’s what he called me,” she said. “Sabina Petris.”
He nodded again and hunched further into himself, his face scrunching up and the tears flowing fast, dripping down his chin. “I’m so sorry,” he whispered. He looked up at her and grabbed her face, stroked her cheek. Shock kept her rooted to the chair. Her papa was crying a life’s worth of tears in the seat next to her, on a musty smelling bus traveling away. “I’m sorry, my star. I tried to stop it.”
Donna has been writing since she was in the single digits when she first realized she needed to do something about all the thoughts in her head. After a stint with bad poetry she finally found her way to novels, mainly of the young adult fantasy variety. When she’s not cranking out more stories she works a regular 9 to 5, reads anywhere from 2 to 3 books a week, drinks copious amounts of tea, eats way too much, and makes her own beauty products because her skin turns into a sentient hive if she uses anything else. This is mostly because she lives in the desert where the air siphons water clean out of her. She lives with a man named Steve and several quadrupeds: three cats named Renfield, Sam, and Dean; and a MinPin named Malfoy.
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