Today I get the pleasure of revealing the cover of the second book in the Cornerstone series by Misty Provencher. If you weren't already aware, I'm a huge fan of it (find my review HERE) and am so happy I get to share the next book with you all! And here you all go, I present you with Keystone!
Chapter 1 – KEYSTONE- Pages 1-2
WARNING: This is an excerpt from Keystone, the second book in the Cornerstone Series. This excerpt will definitely contain spoilers for the first book. Please feel welcome to try out the first five chapters of Cornerstone at: http://mistypro.blogspot.com/p/cornerstone-chapter-one.html
This excerpt is part of a Blog Hop. In order to read the entire first chapter, please visit all the awesome Blog Hop stops listed here: http://mistypro.blogspot.com/ to find the other pages!
It was easy to pick up the Cornerstone.
Easy to be brave.
Easy to be sure that I wanted to be an us.
Really, it was easy to be anything an hour ago, when I was numb.
Then the first white-hot streak of pain blazed up my arm and all the numb went up in flames.
Now the stone gives one massive throb in my palm, like a heart beat or a drum beat or the last beat right before blast off - and the pain shoots up to my shoulder, like my skin is being hollowed out with a poker. I stop the scream by snapping my jaw shut on the edge of my tongue. I taste blood.
Garrett’s face floats above me like a beautiful, worried balloon.
“All you have to do is hang on,” he says. His voice is calm as I struggle to keep my own mouth clamped shut. I don’t want to scream in his face. I want to be the girl that brings courage to this fight, not fear. I swallow the blood. “Just hang on, like the Addo told you.”
I try to rifle back through what the Addo had said hours ago. Once I’d picked up the stone, Addo had come and eased himself back down onto the edge of the bed to explain what would happen during re-Impressioning. He groaned as he adjusted the towel that someone made into a make-shift cast and sling for his arm and I gripped the stone tighter. It was easier to be brave looking at him. Our Addo is the only remaining leader in the entire Ianua community, but The Fury had nearly killed him like they had the other twelve. His broken teeth, and the bruises that splashed across his face, beneath his eye bandage, made his smile excruciating for both of us.
"Not gonna lie, kiddo. Re-Impressioning is miserable stuff,” he’d said. I should've paid attention to how Garrett squeezed my hand a little then, but I was too busy looking at how the bruises swirled around the Addo's lips. I was trying to imagine the people who had put them there. The same people who had killed Garrett’s father. The same ones that my own father had probably called friends.
“The stone always wipes the slate clean,” the Addo had continued. Every word made him wince a little. “No matter what's there, the stone is going to start fresh. Since the ground work of your enhanced nervous system is already there, from your first attempt, the pain this time around will be enhanced too. And by pain, I mean it'll be like swallowing tacks. The only thing I can tell you is to just hang in there. At least, you’ve got the odds going in your favor."
“Odds?” I’d asked. The Addo closed his mouth then and his voice popped into the back of my head.
Everything comes with risks, kiddo.
You mean I might die. I didn’t know how much I even cared if it happened, but I wanted to know what to expect. I projected my question back to him as carefully as I could, but he still flinched with it.
Sure, sure… he hedged. But you could just as easily go belly up choking on half a peanut, couldn’t you? I mean, there’s always odds to anything, isn’t there? What’s the odds that you’d be attacked by, say, a pack of rabid dingos?
Ok. I’d shrugged. So what are my odds?
Oh, percentages…bah! You can figure percentages any which way, really…
But if we were talking about a whole cookie, I squared my gaze on him and his blue-and-purple eyelids drooped a little more.
Nalena Maxwell has been branded ‘The Waste’ at her new school, due to her mom's obsessive paper hoarding. Nalena desperately wants something to change in her life, but when she receives a sign (and it's the wrong dang one) inviting her into a mysterious, ancient community, too much changes. What she knew of her family, what she thought of her life and what she believed about her future, is no longer applicable. Seventeen years worth of family skeletons come crashing into Nalena's life and it is the boy...the one that smiles at her like he wants to hear everything she'll ever say...that already knows her powerful secrets. But it is only Nalena that can choose between protecting the life that is already crumbling beneath her feet and the one that might sacrifice everything she could ever have.