Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Excerpt and Giveaway: Into the Blind by Helen Rena


In a world where everyone is gifted, be it in dancing, lightning-bringing, or death-giving, Ever is born…all-powerful.

For this gift, she is kidnapped and trafficked at birth. Fifteen years later, Ever still hasn’t seen even a glimmer of her powerful gift. Locked in an abandoned mall in New York City, she’s fighting to survive her captivity, her brutal guards, and the other gifted kids in her cell. She would do anything to escape.

Fox is gifted with time manipulation. Like Ever, he hasn’t come into his gift yet; like Ever, he hates the mall; and like Ever, he longs to be free. But there’s one thing he values above his freedom—it’s Ever’s love…

…yet, when the two make a desperate attempt to escape, this attempt proves so dark and twisted that it just might destroy Ever’s love for Fox.

Praise for Into the Blind:
“A thrilling story…a must-read for the adventurous of heart!” —Gina Henning, author of Going Pecans

…genuinely original and engaging…” —Jeanne Dallman, author of The Hour of Separation

“…unique voice…unique world…unique premise…” —Jon VanZile, editor of Dragon Tree Press


Chapter 1
The green cement floor under my feet wasn’t doing anything. I mean, I wasn’t sure what exactly was supposed to happen, but Sinna was looking down at the floor with so much focus. Presently, he raised his eyes at me, and since I’m blind but have this highly fortunate ability to see what the people around me are looking at, I saw the object of his gaze: myself. Together, Sin and I surveyed my short figure, my pale, heart-shaped face, and my hopelessly tangled white hair. Sinna sighed as if I were somehow wrong for what we were doing.
“Ever, I can’t,” he said finally. “It’s too dangerous.”
I made a funny pleading face. I wanted to joke, to ask him how a nightmare could be dangerous. It was just a hallucination. A waking vision that temporarily blocked out one’s reality. And if Sin succeeded in making it for me now, he’d be able to make one for our guards later. We could be free in half an hour! But I suddenly choked up. The room around me—the cold cement walls the color of gangrene, the ugly kidney-shaped wooden counter, and the piles of books, magazines, newspapers, and journals (for this room used to be a mall bookstore)—all of it began to suffocate me. I had to get out of here. I had to be free. How I wished I could make Sinna feel this crushing need!
He squeezed my shoulder: he understood. Then, sounding like the Collegiate Thesaurus he’d used for a pillow for the last several years, he said, “Very well, Ever-Jezebel. Do you recall what I have imparted to you not three minutes ago?”
I nodded and made my voice sound deeper to show Sinna that I was quoting him, “Ever, you ought to remember three things. First, if you notice that something, even the tiniest and most insignificant detail, deviates from the nightmare we have agreed upon, please stop me. Second, even if everything does go according to the plan, but you feel that you wish to be released from the nightmare, please stop me. Third, once in a nightmare, you will not be able to see through my eyes, and fourth, knowing that it’s not real is not going to help you in there.” I switched to my own voice, “Did I get it right?”
The sounds of steps and whacks came from the back room, where Sinna’s girlfriend was teaching my boyfriend a new method of killing people. By breaking their necks with the edge of a palm. I only hoped Demi wouldn’t kill Fox because that girl was freakishly strong.
Sinna chuckled. “Yes, it was all correct, although I do not believe I sounded even fractionally this excited. However, let’s proceed. An ocean. Blue and warm. With a school of fish that looks like the one on the cover of the Marine Atlas.” The last words he muttered quietly under his nose, clearly to remind himself of what I’d requested to see in a nightmare.
He backed away from me…a few steps…then a few more…then all the way to the massive steel door that stood between us and freedom. He stopped there, and again, we watched the dusty green floor by my feet.
Suddenly it quaked.
Yes, right under my feet.
The snapshots I was getting through Sinna’s eyes vanished, but somehow, impossibly, improbably, I was still seeing the floor by my feet. It quaked once again.
On its third quake, a coffin-sized segment of the green floor in front of me ballooned up. In perfect silence, it wriggled and jerked from side to side, as if something large was pushing our floor from beneath.
My heart sang with excitement: it was happening, it was here, the miracle that would set us free.
The bulge gave one last shuddering twitch and then, still silently, cracked open. A gush of clear, cold liquid shot straight up out of the hole, wetting my chin, my nose, and a lock of hair that had slipped out of my ponytail. As I wiped my face, wondering why the liquid smelled of rubbing alcohol, the water spurt hit the ceiling and came back down, this time soaking me head to toe, and I couldn’t believe it was just a vision. My skin felt wet. My hair and dress clung to me as if they were truly soaked, and the only word I could use to describe this fluid was “real.”
More water came through the crack in the floor, and then more still. Only it didn’t spread—it stayed around me in a large circular puddle. I hopped up and down in it. 
“I’m loving this!” I told Sinna, not sure if I would get a response—he hadn’t specified if we’d be able to talk while I was inside a nightmare. But I did hear from him: he chortled and said, “Just don’t attempt to swim in this reservoir, Ever. It’s not real.”
The water kept on rising. Soon it touched my chin, and I hastened to press my lips together, which wasn’t easy because I was grinning so hard. Then I had to pinch my nose shut. Since I was a bit late on that, a little water trickled down my throat, and it tasted exactly like the tap stuff I drank every day. So…not a salty ocean after all? But no matter, it was still a fun nightmare.

A small, paper-white ghost flitted past me...

About the author:

Helen Rena loves reading and writing novels. And short stories. And flash fiction. She has a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, and a vast collection of books and green bottles. She is still not sure why green bottles. She lives in Southern Oregon with her husband and two children. Please visit her at:

Author's Giveaway
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Anne said...

Since I don't currently have a boy friend, I'd go all powerful though I don't really have any desire (despite the occasional wish to smite a few people)to be all powerful.

Helen Rena said...

Hi, CCAM, thank you so much for hosting me today. I love your blog.

It's funny that you don't want to be all powerful. I thought everyone wanted that ;)

Missy said...

I would choose my boyfriend! Love is allpowerful!

joe hawk said...

Choose my fiance she is more than power.

Linda Romer said...

I would definetly choose my husband he's superman. There is nobody and nothing I would choose over him.

Bella Flores said...

I don't know this is like a super hard choice I guess it would depend on how happy you are with your spouse and what the power comes with? I would choose power, if it was a good power that include like good things if it was just a everyday kind of power i would choose my spouse, I no i didn't pick well.... thanks for the giveaway

collenga said...

I've been celibate for 5 years so I would choose the power. Thanks!

Gaelicark said...

I'd go for the boyfriend if my heart told me to... what's power without love?!

Julie Waldron said...

I've been happily married for 24 years :) I would definitely choose my husband!

Jane Doe said...

Love is powerful so I would choose boyfriend!

Cyndi F said...

probally my husband, :) thank you

Melinda Dartmann said...

I've had the love all my life, I believe I would choose the power. Something different to try!~

Edmond Leung said...

I would choose the power. . Thanks for the awesomeness, the contest, & generosity.

Allan Chinn said...

All powerful!

Sarah Bauman said...

I would choose the power. Thanks for the awesome contest!

Judy Thomas said...

I would choose to be all powerful :)

CCAM said...

My boyfriend aka my husband - that's no real choice here :D

Amanda Sakovitz said...

I would pick powerful

Thomas Murphy said...

I would pick being all-powerful

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