Sleigh lives in a city at the very tops of the age-old valor trees, where babies born defective are taken and delivered to the other defects living on the Surface. When Sleigh’s sister is born one of these 3re-breathing, earthquake-inducing monsters, she follows the transporters to the Surface in secret, desperate to learn what will become of her. There, she discovers a new world of incredible people she’s instantly drawn to, one man in particular. Everything she’s been taught is a lie. She also 3nds out the Avarice will have her killed if her disappearance is detected, so she’s forced to return to her city after only a brief escape, feeling more like their captive than someone living under their safeguard.
Four years later, the stars foretell her sister’s capture and enslavement by centaurs, along with the murder of her beloved, Gabriel. No matter the cost, she’s determined to return to the Surface and do whatever it takes, even offering herself in their place, to prevent both such disasters. If only she’d known what sort of trouble this reckless act would really get her into: putting her at the heart of a prophecy to end human slavery to centaurs, being forced to seek out and wear the lost wings of Hendraya, which makes her the leader in a massive Surface war against a most deadly race of centaurs thought to have gone extinct over a century ago.
During the day, April Marcom works as a substitute teacher for grades K-12. But in the evening, the alluring world of romance takes over as she pours it out on paper. Her favorite thing to do, though, is to spend time with her sports-car-loving husband and three incredibly energetic children. She also loves chocolate, her five very rowdy dogs, and livin’ the simple life out in the country. April grew up a southern bell in Mississippi, but is now a proud Oklahoman.
My Top 10 Favorite Things:
· Snuggly Lapdogs
· Rainy Days
· Christmas Time
Gabriel leaned an elbow on the table, staring at me thoughtfully. “I have to ask—what are you doing back on the Surface?”
“I turned eighteen two days ago. The stars showed Blush being taken, and you being killed. I came as soon as I could, but by the time I found you, the centaurs were already too close. The only way to save you was to let them capture me.” My eyes began to tear up, something I was getting extremely tired of.
“Thank you for that, Sleigh.” Gabriel ran his hand over my forearm gently. “I owe you everything.”
A tear washed against one corner of my mouth when I grinned. I scooted my chair closer to him so I could wrap my arms around his neck. “I owe you everything, too. And you can’t imagine how grateful I am that you came for me.”
His sturdy arms went around my back. I sobbed into his shoulder. The immense sacriﬁce of giving yourself voluntarily to the centaurs was all too familiar to me. This man, who I had been taught to hate and fear all my life, had given up everything for me, and for my sister. I hugged him a little bit tighter at the thought of what a truly great man he was. I knew it before, but didn’t realize just how deeply my heart yearned to be reunited with him again on so many levels, until that moment.
If we did manage to escape, I knew I had a place in this world. As a neighbor or a friend, or even the faintest possibility of something more, there was a place for me with Gabriel.