Today’s guest is YA author, N.J. Simmonds, who is going to share a scene from her debut fantasy YA novel, The Path Keeper. It has two gorgeous covers, a special white one for the hardback version. I just love those feathers.
What if our lives were mapped out before birth? Does anyone have the power to change their destiny?
Ella hates London. She misses her old life in Spain and is struggling to get over her past—until she meets Zac. He’s always loved her but isn’t meant to be part of her story. Not this time. Not ever. Little does she know that his secret is the one thing that will tear them apart and force her to live in a world that no longer makes sense. A world full of danger, lies and magic.
The Path Keeper is a passionate tale of first loves, second chances and the invisible threads that bind us. Can love ever be stronger than fate?
*The special edition white hardcover contains the never-seen-before short story “One Day I’ll Fly Away.” Exclusively available in the hardcover edition.
It sounds fascinating, doesn’t it? Simmonds is sharing one of her favourite scenes with us, where we realise that Zac and Ella may have been connected in another life.
She braced herself and led the way to the top of the escalators. Gingerly, she placed her foot on the first step and turned to Zac, her face level with his chest. True to his word—his hand still firmly in hers—he wrapped his other arm around her waist and held her to him. She rested her head against him, inhaling the warmth of his sweatshirt as they sunk lower. He turned her around just as the escalator reached the bottom and walked her to the wall. A rush of people pushed past them, and she closed her eyes, concentrating on keeping upright and on the feel of him beside her.
When she opened her eyes, she was alone, and the station was still and quiet. The escalators were stationary and scattered with limp bodies, their limbs so twisted and tangled it was difficult to see what belonged to whom. They lay slumped on every wooden step, some curled into tight balls and others perched precariously on the edge, their clothes tired and tattered. Three young men in collarless shirts crouched on the steep metal partition and stared into nothing, a veil of cigarette smoke forming halos above their cloth caps. A red-headed girl in a full skirt sat cross-legged at the base of the stairs, tears drying on her sooty cheeks, ignoring the infant at her naked breast.
Ella tried to move but couldn’t. She managed to take a step back against the cold wall and felt its rough grime settle on her fingertips. She turned her head away from the terrifying vision, the stench of urine and dirty bodies making her wretch.
Suddenly, a low, deep rumble sounded above. The men on the stairs looked up as a few of the bodies on the steps began to stir, white dust falling like snow around them. Small fragments of plaster soon turned to large chunks of brick which rained down and crashed at Ella’s feet. The ground shook, the lights went out, and a baby started to scream.
‘Rivers, hey, it’s OK.’
Zac was beside her, and the screams were hers. The escalator was no longer wooden, and commuters continued to stream past, no one bothering to look at the hysterical girl in the corner.
‘Zac, did you see that? The ceiling caved in,’ she cried. ‘There were bodies everywhere. I don’t know if they were dead or…Did you not see it? I can’t breathe. We have to get out. It’s dangerous. I’m going to die’
He pulled her to his chest and held her shaking body as her tears subsided. She wanted to take a deep breath but the air was still too thick and dusty.
‘I know, I know.’ He stroked her hair. ‘It’s all right. I’m here, and I won’t leave you. I promise.’
She pulled away and looked at him, wiping her eyes with the back of her sleeve. When had she heard those words before?
Wow, that’s an intriguing extract! If, like me, you want to find out more about Zac and Ella, you can buy the book here:
Full list of retailers:
And here’s what some readers are saying about the book:
“…a story of immortal love, wherein groups of souls find each other again and again, raising questions about life and fate.” — Foreword Reviews Magazine
“This is urban fantasy at its best. Fresh, beautiful, and moving, I couldn’t put it down.” — Anna Day, internationally acclaimed author of The Fandom
“Simmonds writing flows like poetry, each sentence meticulously crafted. …a solid edition to the YA fantasy genre.” — Julia Wierzbicki, author of The Scavenger
“So this book really surprised me…Wow just wow. The writing drew me in and then suddenly I couldn’t put it down. This wasn’t your normal run of the mill boy meets girl and they fall in love… This was better….this was different and I adored it. ” — Claire Knight, Harry & Newt’s Book Utopia
Meet N. J. Simmonds
N J Simmonds is author of urban fantasy romance series The Indigo Chronicles. The Path Keeper is the first book in the series and out in the UK and US 28 May 2019. Whens she’s not writing books about fearless girls, magic, love and adventure, she lectures on storytelling and self branding. Originally from North London, with Spanish parentage, N J Simmonds now lives in the Netherlands with her husband and two daughters.
You can find out more about the author here:
Thanks so much for dropping by to tell us about your exciting book, N. J. I hope it flies off the shelves!
Bring a little sunshine into your life with one of my feel-good romances, all set in glorious locations.Check out my Amazon Author Page for details.