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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Blog Tour- IMANI UNRAVELED by Leigh Statham With An Excerpt & Giveaway!



I am happy to be hosting a stop on the blog tour for IMANI UNRAVELED by Leigh Statham! I have an excerpt to share with you today check it out and enter to win the giveaway below!

About The Book:



Title: IMANI UNRAVELED (Daughter 4254, Book 2) 
Author: Leigh Statham
Pub. Date: February 5, 2019
Publisher: Owl Hollow Press
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 260
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NTBD

When her head is artificially filled with more information than she knows what to do with, Daughter4254 finds she can’t trust her own thoughts, much less the words of anyone else.


Rumors come creeping in the night, and she finds herself faced with a choice she thought she’d left far behind when she’d walked out the doors of the compound.


Title: DAUGHTER 4254 (Daughter 4254, Book 1)
Author: Leigh Statham
Pub. Date: December 5, 2017
Publisher: Owl Hollow Press
Pages: 286
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Find it: Goodreads, AmazonB&N, iBooksTBD

Daughter4254 used to think life in a community where art, music and names are outlawed would suffocate her creative spirit. Now that she’s rotting in a prison cell, she’s not sure her dying mother made the right choice when she entrusted her with the secrets of rebellion. Prison has given her plenty of time to relive every mistake and lose all hope.


Then she meets Thomas, a fellow inmate, who tells her stories of the mythical mountain colonies where people have names and the arts thrive. Together they plot an escape, knowing if they fail, they will die. Or worse, their consciousness will be taken by the MindWipe, leaving their bodies free for the government to use. When nothing goes as planned, Daughter4254 must choose between using her mother’s secret to better the world she hates, or following Thomas to the quiet life of freedom she has always craved.



Now on to the excerpt!
CHAPTER 2

The snow is packed harder than I would have guessed. We slide much faster than we can control. I cling to Thomas’s gloved hand with my own bare one and try not to scream. My forehead throbs centered around the knot swelling where the monster man headbutted me. The wind whips past my face, carrying pellets of ice kicked up from our feet trying to dig in and slow the descent. The river bank is coming up quickly. Too quickly.

“Thomas,” I squeak out. I want to shut my eyes and brace for impact, but instead I watch in horror as jagged rocks lining the frozen river’s edge grow larger, closer.

“Hang on, I gotcha.” Thomas grips my hand tightly and bends his knees, digging his feet deeper into the icy snow bank.

Twang.

The guards must have reached the edge. But the sounds of their rifles are accompanied by the scraping of ice and metal, and Thomas begins to slow. Momentum carries me ahead of him, the motion centered on the connection of our hands. My arm fully extends and starts to strain, gravity fighting to pull my fingers from their grasp on his glove.

“I need both your hands,” he yells.

I roll on my side and reach up, catching him around his free wrist with my flailing hand. I immediately feel the tug increase as he successfully slows my descent as well.

Twang, twang.

More shots.

“Hold on, we’re gonna speed this up again.” Thomas redoubles his grip on my right hand, then my left, before lifting his feet, and we shoot down the slope again.

This time I look down at the rocks and realize they are boulders and we are only a few moments away from smashing into them.

I look up the hill. The guards are standing at the top of the ridge, taking aim.

Pain in my temples is followed by snippets of shock rifle statistics flowing across my vision: diagrams, measurements, development. I shut my eyes and shake the information away, groaning. But now I know these rifles have limited range and accuracy. They aren’t like the guns of the past, firing hundreds of feet with startling precision. We may be out of their reach on the river.

“Hang on!” Thomas yells as we slow more quickly this time, yanking on my outstretched arms. Then my feet slam into the boulders below, my legs buckling.

I open my eyes and scramble to my hands and knees. The guards aren’t following us, but that doesn’t mean they will let us go. One puts his rifle down and speaks into a small black box. The other keeps us in his sights.

Twang.

The rock next to me explodes, little pebbles showering the ground around us.

Okay, so maybe I misjudged their range.

“Time to go, love.” Thomas is on his feet and pulling me up too.

We slip around the huge rocks, coated in ice, to face the river in its roaring glory. I hope Thomas won’t ask me to dive into the icy waters. I know we have to get out quickly, but I’ve never been in water deeper than a shower puddle. How will I survive the freezing current roaring in front of me?

As we round the corner between rocks and the last twang dies away behind us, I see a small boat tied to a scrawny tree, halfway lodged on a thin, sandy bank. Thomas takes off his gloves and hands them to me.

“Put these on,” he says, and I do so quickly, savoring the warmth his hands left for mine. He stomps ahead and starts untying the line. Once it’s free, he looks up at me.

I meet his gaze, understanding urgency that doesn’t need to be spoken. I take in the river and the tiny wooden vessel. This is better than swimming, but I’ve never ridden in a boat either. We didn’t live anywhere near water that used boats for any purpose, and recreational boating is not of use.

“Get in. No doubt they are calling up for ropes and the like so they can scale down and nab us.”

“I’ve never been in a boat before. I-I don’t know what to do,” I stammer.

“Just get in and hold on. Don’t dance around and we’ll be fine.” He smiles at me as he tugs at the ropes. The same smile that got me through all those days in prison, only now there are no bars separating us, no regulations, no guardsexcept the ones behind us on the hill.

I step gingerly into the shallow water and take hold of the brown wooden sides. As I lift my other leg up, the boat tips under my weight and I almost lose my balance. With one foot on the uneven bottom, I hurry to swing my other leg into the boat, shaking as I cling to the side. Shallow water pools around my boots as I wobble toward a small bench built in the back. I sit down and grasp both sides of the boat. They feel smooth even through Thomas’s warm wool gloves, worn down by the hands of previous passengers holding on for their lives, I’m sure.

Thomas throws the ropes in after me and starts to push the boat into the current. As we slide away from the shore, the top of the hill rises into view beyond the large boulders sheltering us. The guards aren’t visible, but I don’t relax yet. My arms are tense and I flex my calves. Thomas was right. They are probably waiting for ropes or bigger guns or something worse before they come after us. Their whole existence, everything they cherish, is crammed in my brain, and they don’t want that slipping out of their control.

Thomas gives one last push, then jumps expertly into the front of the boat. The slight rocking caused by his jump convinces me the boat is about to capsize and I squeeze the sides tighter, closing my eyes. My whole body tightens and I hold my breath as the boat lowers farther into the dark waters with Thomas’s weight and then catches the current and speeds ahead. When I’m brave enough to open my eyes, Thomas is standing in front of me with a pole, pushing us away from an oncoming rock and catapulting us farther into the flow. I hold my breath as we shoot forward.

Not wanting to look at the raging river around us, I look down into the boat and notice Thomas’s boots. Now that we aren’t in the snow, I can see large metal spikes protruding from the soles. That must have been how he climbed up the hill and how he slowed our descent. An image of the spikes going through the brown wood in the bottom of the boat and water rising up around me makes me shiver, and I close my eyes again. He got down here without puncturing the boat, so we should be able to get out too.

I release the side of the boat to gently prod the spot where the wild man knocked his head against mine, and a dull throbbing meets my fingers. The backs of my eyelids light up accompanied by stabbing pain between my temples. I grab the sides of the boat again and brace myself for what comes next.



RMS Titanic was a British passenger liner that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on 15 April 1912 after colliding with an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton, UK, to New York City, US. The sinking of Titanic caused the deaths of more than 1,500 people in one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in modern history.



“Stop, stop, stop!”

“Can’t love. We’re well on our way now. Look, they’re giving up. Woo-hoo!”

Thomas doesn’t realize I’m not talking to him.

This pain, these information flashes, are the byproducts of Hamen messing with my head. After Thomas escaped the prison and I was taken to the Mind Wipe, Hamen filled me with all the lost information of our ancestorseverything our current Leaders had decided wasnt of use, including most history, art, and music. What he hadnt told me was that random bits would pop up without warning in flashes and bursts of pain. I can’t decide if I’m glad to have it or if I wish it was back in Hamen’s machine.

As soon as the episode has passedin a moment that feel like several minutesI look up. In the distance, the guards have both dropped their weapons and are watching us. We are moving too fast for them to catch. The river bends to the left, taking us with it. An outcropping of trees on the bank passes between us and they are gone. I wonder what Hamen will say when he finds out I ran away. I picture his face growing dark and morphing into the man I knew best, the man who enjoyed tormenting students in Secondary School. The man who wouldn’t hesitate to erase my personality and memories if given the chance.

How could he have ever been, as he claims, my mother’s friend?

The river is still swift but is deep and smooth now. I grow used to the gentle rocking, and seeing Thomas confident at the helm helps me relax. At each section of rapids, Thomas guides us through expertly. He looks back at me now and then, a broad smile splitting his handsome face. As I think about how much I missed himhis voice, his smile, the mischief in his eyesI realize that I dont know this wild mountain boy much better than I know Hamen. Yet I am willing to trust him, to follow him this time. Though he could be taking me to a life much worse than Hamen offered, I doubt it with my whole heart. Any life that includes Thomas is better than one without him.

I wish I’d never doubted him the first time.






About Leigh:
Leigh Statham was raised in the wilds of rural Idaho but found her heart in New York City. She worked at many interesting jobs before settling in as a mother and writer.

She now resides in North Carolina with her husband, four children, eight chickens, a fluffy dog, and two suspected serial killer cats.

Leigh is currently working on an MFA, has written countless short stories, and is the author of lots of mediocre poetry. She is also the winner of the 2016 Southeast Review Narrative Nonfiction Prize for her short story “The Ditch Bank and the Fenceline.”


Giveaway Details:
2 winners will receive a finished copy of IMANI UNRAVELED, US only.




Tour Schedule:
Week One:
2/11/2019- BookHounds YAExcerpt
2/12/2019- Smada's Book SmackSpotlight
2/13/2019- Kelly P's BlogExcerpt
2/14/2019- Wishful EndingsExcerpt
2/15/2019- Christine's Book CornerSpotlight

Week Two:
2/18/2019- Some Books and RamblingsExcerpt
2/19/2019- Jena Brown WritesReview
2/20/2019- Two Chicks on BooksExcerpt
2/21/2019- Owl Always Be ReadingExcerpt
2/22/2019- Good Choice ReadingSpotlight

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