Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Reply
Frequent Contributor
MichelleWachbrit
Posts: 35
Registered: ‎09-03-2010

The Last Guardian Chapter 1

I recently got my YA book, The Last Guardian published. I wanted to let the young adult community know and possibly get some feedback. :smileyhappy:

 

 

Chapter 1

 

 

      Bright bluish-purple flashes split the darkness, casting a glow over the ominous stillness. At the town’s heart, a massive castle towered over a heavy blanket of fog that floated above the ground. As though alive, it twisted and distorted the lights into spirit-like images that seemed to dance to a sinister beat. The heat radiating from its surface evaporated every living thing it touched.

      Serenea had been a peaceful community before the fog descended to fill the streets and permeate buildings and homes through open doors, windows, and fissures or cracks. It claimed its victims, leaving in its wake nothing but tiny glowing lights hovering over small mounds of dust.

      The attack had come late into the evening after most of the residents had gone to bed. Only those who remained in the tavern for a last ale and one who dwelled within the castle saw the invading bank of fog. Looking out a castle window, a young guard watched it advance. His duty to protect the one that was most important to them all and to the cosmos propelled him into action. Following the protocol he never imagined he would need to use, he gave his life to save hers. 

      And now only two living souls remained—a young girl locked in a cavern deep within the castle’s walls and the one who had brought death to Serenea.

 

 

      Water droplets rolled down the stalactites and plinked against the rock floor of the huge cavern. The dark, cold vault lay between dimensions where no one dwelled, and it offered Mienya absolute security. She took no comfort in that fact. Alone, frightened, and unsure of where she was or what had happened to her family or her people, she shivered. Nothing in the twelve short years of her life had prepared her for this.

      The only light radiated from a small orb that hovered an arm’s length above her head, casting shadows and providing only enough luminosity for her to make out faint shapes of her surroundings.

      She pushed herself to her feet and began her third journey around the perimeter of the cavern. Placing her hand against the cold wall, she moved slowly so as not to miss anything. Her first two trips had brought her full circle to the flat rock on which she had just been sitting. About halfway around, she slowed down and stared at what appeared to be a pool filled with black liquid. She’d noticed it when she passed by before, but she hadn’t stopped to investigate.

      Leaning over, she sniffed and jumped back. The thick, gooey liquid bubbled. She watched it for a moment and then bent down on one knee. Every few minutes, the bubbling began and, several seconds later, stopped. She stuck a finger into the liquid and pulled it away. Not a single drop of the substance clung to her skin. It was as though she had never dipped her finger into the pool at all.

      Moving to the far end of the sludge pond, she stopped at four oddly shaped rock formations that stood taller than her full height. Faces appeared to be carved into their smooth surfaces. Positioned along one side of the pool, they looked like sentinels watching over the murky liquid.

      “I wonder what these things are.” Her voice bounced off the cavern walls and came back at her like a boomerang. Unnerved by the sound and bored of the rock figures and the black pool, she made her way to the sealed entrance of the cavern and sank down on the cold rock floor.

      Pulling her knees to her chest, she wrapped her arms around them and rocked back and forth. In the soft glow of the orb light, her simple white leggings, blouse, and white shoes appeared to be smudged. She looked up at the muddy water that ran in tiny rivulets down the walls to snake its way across the floor. Her long, straight, hair fell over her arms, its dark red color barely discernible in the semi-darkness. Unable to see the wings that only she (in all the cosmos) possessed, she stretched them and wrapped them forward around her shoulders. The chill of the damp room couldn’t penetrate the warmth of their feathers, but her legs and feet felt almost frozen. Closing her eyes, she focused mentally on the area around her. The temperature of the air and floor began to rise. She intensified her concentration and straightened her legs. The floor beneath them radiated heat and comfort. Laying her head back against the wall, she allowed herself to rest.

      Born into the royal family of Ckanizar, she held a position far above princess. Her special ability to create and manipulate immeasurable amounts of energy with her mind—a phenomenon that occurred only once every five thousand years—made her extraordinary among her people. She opened her eyes and began to preen her wings with gentle strokes of her small fingers. They were the outward symbol of her status. Again her eyes drifted shut, and she slept.

 

      Fog slipped through the cracks in the castle wall made its way down the long hall, sending white fingers and killing heat into every room it passed. The guard grabbed her hand and pulled her toward the secret door that led to the hidden passage.

      “Hurry!” he urged. “We do not have much time!”

      “But I want to see my mother,” she argued. “And where is my brother?”

      “No time, Mienya! We must go now!”

      She turned to look at him.

      “I am so sorry, your highness. I apologize for calling you by name. It is just that . . . I needed to get your attention.” He ran his hand along the wall, and the hidden door opened. “I will get the queen and your brother and bring them to you. Now hurry.”

      He gave her a gentle push toward the stairs. She looked back as the door clicked shut and became part of the solid wall. Turning around, she ran toward the spot where it had been.

      “Garin! Mama! I need you! Please!”

      The dream woke her. Beneath her legs and feet, the floor had grown cold, and her wings retreated to their natural position. Unsettled by the dream and too restless to sleep any more, she stood and stretched. How much time had passed since she'd been hidden in the cave, she could only guess. But she couldn’t stay here any longer. Her sanctuary had become a prison from which she longed to escape. She ignored the voice in the back of her mind that kept insisting she stay put.

      “Do I try to find a way out, or do I just wait?” she argued with the voice. “I cannot stay here forever, you know.”

      Listening to the voice of reason and sitting still had never been her strong points. She would go; she had to go.  It still took her a moment to persuade herself to leave because the tiny voice in the back of her mind was still trying to get her to rethink her decision.

      “Hush!” she said finally. “I do not want to hear another word about it.”

She stared at the wall that held the concealed doorway. How could she open it?  For a moment she imagined she heard arguing in her head, but before she could dwell on it any further, the answer to her problem popped into her mind. Placing her palms against the rough cavern wall, she concentrated on the spot where the door should be. Her hands started to glow, softly at first, and then growing brighter until a warm orange-yellow light emanated from her flesh. Slowly, she pulled her arms back. Two radiant imprints where her hands had been placed glowed upon the rock wall.

      She stepped back and frowned. Nothing happened. I do not understand. What have I done wrong?

      A deep rumbling sounded from within the wall. The gift of energy within her body had the power to open the partition after all. She took another step back as the door swung out, revealing a stone hallway.

      Mienya stepped forward toward the corridor, peered out, retreated into the safety of the cavern, and sat on the cold floor. She pulled off her shoes and set her feet flat on its surface. Then she stood up and moved around a little to get used to the feel of walking without her shoes before moving to the wall where her handprints were still softly aglow. Second thoughts about leaving the cavern flitted through her mind. Should I leave this place where I know I am safe, or do I go out to see what happened to my family?

      She felt dizzy, as though she were spinning in circles, but she took a deep breath and walked into the hallway. Wanting desperately to cling to the safe haven the guard had sent her into, she wanted even more to find her family. Sitting here, she could never do that.

      Trouble was she did not know where to look. And she did not know what she would find.

 

 

So that's the first chapter! What do you all think? If you're at all interested in owning your own copy of The Last Guardian, you can pre-order it here on barnesandnoble.com:

 

 

 

 

You can also find the link to The Last Guardian Website below in my signature.

  

 

 

Check my website (http://thelastguardianbook.com/) to buy my YA book, read the first chapter, look over character bios, and much more!
B&N: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/books/e/9780984154364/
Wordsmith
Golden_Reader12
Posts: 347
Registered: ‎12-28-2008
0 Kudos

Re: The Last Guardian Chapter 1

This was so great! I loved reading this sample and I went to your website to check it out and it looks like a book I will thourghouly enjoy! I've just pre-ordered it! Thank you so much!!!!!!

"There would be little reason to lie down at night without the possibility of seeing things bigger and more amazing than the average day might bring about. Why pick up a pen or type on a keyboard if there's no imagination or wonder left to behold?"
-pg 3 of Leven Thumps and the Wrath of Ezra
Frequent Contributor
MichelleWachbrit
Posts: 35
Registered: ‎09-03-2010
0 Kudos

Re: The Last Guardian Chapter 1

Thank you for the comment and the pre-order! I can't tell you how happy that makes me! I truly hope that you enjoy the book when you receive. And, of course, please spread the word! =D

Check my website (http://thelastguardianbook.com/) to buy my YA book, read the first chapter, look over character bios, and much more!
B&N: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/books/e/9780984154364/
Wordsmith
Golden_Reader12
Posts: 347
Registered: ‎12-28-2008
0 Kudos

Re: The Last Guardian Chapter 1

lol i will!

"There would be little reason to lie down at night without the possibility of seeing things bigger and more amazing than the average day might bring about. Why pick up a pen or type on a keyboard if there's no imagination or wonder left to behold?"
-pg 3 of Leven Thumps and the Wrath of Ezra
Frequent Contributor
MichelleWachbrit
Posts: 35
Registered: ‎09-03-2010
0 Kudos

Re: The Last Guardian Chapter 1

Would anyone else like to offer some feedback? I'd really love to hear what others have to say. ^__^

Check my website (http://thelastguardianbook.com/) to buy my YA book, read the first chapter, look over character bios, and much more!
B&N: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/books/e/9780984154364/
Frequent Contributor
KateBrianIsAwesome
Posts: 115
Registered: ‎08-19-2009
0 Kudos

Re: The Last Guardian Chapter 1

The first chapter is great. Now I'm left wanting to know what happens afterward! I'll be keeping my eye on your book. I'd love to review it on my blog. Good luck! 

Reading can only make you more happy and smarter. :smileyhappy:

Visit my blog at http://teenbibliophile.blogspot.com/

- Mallory
Frequent Contributor
MichelleWachbrit
Posts: 35
Registered: ‎09-03-2010
0 Kudos

Re: The Last Guardian Chapter 1

Thank you for your comment! I'm very glad that you enjoyed reading the first chapter. And I would certainly love to see you review the book on your blog upon its release.

 

 

 

For those interested:

 

 

The Last Guardian will be up for pre-sale! An initial run of 1000 copies will be available on my website (link below) and they should start shipping out Oct. 1. This is your chance to get a copy of the book well before it's actual street date! Those who buy the book now will be entered in a raffle for a chance to win a bust-up digital painting from my cover artist. Be sure to message me and let me know if you've purchased so I can keep track of you. The raffle will be held on October 15th. Don't miss out on this opportunity!

 

 

 

 

The Last Guardian Official Website  

Check my website (http://thelastguardianbook.com/) to buy my YA book, read the first chapter, look over character bios, and much more!
B&N: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/books/e/9780984154364/
Wordsmith
Golden_Reader12
Posts: 347
Registered: ‎12-28-2008
0 Kudos

Re: The Last Guardian Chapter 1

ok now i offically ordered the book through your website. i had originally tried on b&n but it said it wouldn't be released unti April so I canceled that pre-order. I'm just happy I don't have to wait until April anymore lol

"There would be little reason to lie down at night without the possibility of seeing things bigger and more amazing than the average day might bring about. Why pick up a pen or type on a keyboard if there's no imagination or wonder left to behold?"
-pg 3 of Leven Thumps and the Wrath of Ezra
Frequent Contributor
MichelleWachbrit
Posts: 35
Registered: ‎09-03-2010
0 Kudos

Re: The Last Guardian Chapter 1

Lol, thank you! The book will be shipping out within the next couple days. And since you ordered from my website, you're entered in the little raffle my cover artist and I are holding!

 

 

 

And I'm still looking for feedback from anyone who would like to offer it!

Check my website (http://thelastguardianbook.com/) to buy my YA book, read the first chapter, look over character bios, and much more!
B&N: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/books/e/9780984154364/
Distinguished Wordsmith
crzynwrd4lf
Posts: 503
Registered: ‎04-04-2010
0 Kudos

Re: The Last Guardian Chapter 1

I saw your post in the Read My Book! section and didn't realize it hadn't been released yet, so silly me when I went to B&N and the cashier told me. I can't wait for it to come out. Congrats on getting published and wanting to share your story with others.

"One potato, two potato, three potato, four/ she's coming for you now, you better lock the door"-- Promise Not To Tell
Frequent Contributor
MichelleWachbrit
Posts: 35
Registered: ‎09-03-2010
0 Kudos

Re: The Last Guardian Chapter 1

Lol, yeah. The book will officially be released in April, though you can get a first-run copy from my website and have it within a week or so.

 

 

Also, I have some news:

 

I JUST got my books for the first run in and they look amazing! The picture here on Barnes and Noble does not do it justice. The cover is absolutely stunning!

Check my website (http://thelastguardianbook.com/) to buy my YA book, read the first chapter, look over character bios, and much more!
B&N: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/books/e/9780984154364/
Frequent Contributor
MichelleWachbrit
Posts: 35
Registered: ‎09-03-2010
0 Kudos

Re: The Last Guardian Chapter 1

So I'm guessing no one else wants to offer me an opinion?

Check my website (http://thelastguardianbook.com/) to buy my YA book, read the first chapter, look over character bios, and much more!
B&N: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/books/e/9780984154364/
Wordsmith
Golden_Reader12
Posts: 347
Registered: ‎12-28-2008
0 Kudos

Re: The Last Guardian Chapter 1

I just got your book today! I have a couple I have to finish before I start it but I'm so excited to be able to read it!

"There would be little reason to lie down at night without the possibility of seeing things bigger and more amazing than the average day might bring about. Why pick up a pen or type on a keyboard if there's no imagination or wonder left to behold?"
-pg 3 of Leven Thumps and the Wrath of Ezra
Wordsmith
Golden_Reader12
Posts: 347
Registered: ‎12-28-2008
0 Kudos

Re: The Last Guardian Chapter 1

you're right! the book is so beautiful, much in real life. How did you get your cover design?

"There would be little reason to lie down at night without the possibility of seeing things bigger and more amazing than the average day might bring about. Why pick up a pen or type on a keyboard if there's no imagination or wonder left to behold?"
-pg 3 of Leven Thumps and the Wrath of Ezra
Frequent Contributor
MichelleWachbrit
Posts: 35
Registered: ‎09-03-2010
0 Kudos

Re: The Last Guardian Chapter 1

Wow, that got to you quickly! I can't wait to hear your thoughts on it (plus, I hope you'll review it here on B&N)! As for the cover design, my illustrator and I went to Borders several months ago and browsed the YA section trying to get an idea of what sort of covers attracted attention. We realized that most books used photography for their covers and they were pretty color-less. I've always loved my illustrator's art and I thought a digital painting would draw more attention. I basically told her that I wanted it to be bright and eye-catching and I gave her a basic idea for a pose and she just went with it. She's absolutely amazing.

Check my website (http://thelastguardianbook.com/) to buy my YA book, read the first chapter, look over character bios, and much more!
B&N: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/books/e/9780984154364/
Frequent Contributor
MichelleWachbrit
Posts: 35
Registered: ‎09-03-2010
0 Kudos

Re: The Last Guardian Chapter 1

I still would love feedback for this chapter. Please just take the time to read it and offer an opinion. I'd be most appreciative. :smileyhappy:

Check my website (http://thelastguardianbook.com/) to buy my YA book, read the first chapter, look over character bios, and much more!
B&N: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/books/e/9780984154364/
Inspired Contributor
kristyn711
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎09-10-2010
0 Kudos

Re: The Last Guardian Chapter 1

Based on this chapter, I have purchased your book.  I think you have the potential for quite an interesting story.  I am curious how the story will play out for your character.  I do caution, though, something I sometimes have a problem with.  You use a lot of adjectives throughout this chapter.  Although you have created quite a vivid image for people, at times, I was a bit overwhelmed by them.  Please do not take that to mean I didn't like your chapter.  Again, I purchased your book to see what happens next because I am intrigued. 

"A room without books is like a body without a soul." ~ Cicero

"My test of a good novel is dreading to begin the last chapter." ~ Thomas Helm
Frequent Contributor
MichelleWachbrit
Posts: 35
Registered: ‎09-03-2010
0 Kudos

Re: The Last Guardian Chapter 1

[ Edited ]

Thank you for the purchase and the feedback! Both are greatly appreciated.

 

As for the adjectives, I do see what you mean. I tend to be a very descriptive writer, by nature, and this is something my editors and I are working on. They've toned down the book a great deal and I'm taking all feedback to heart as I work on book 2.

 

Any and all opinions are welcome. After all, without constructive criticism, how can one improve?

 

Again, thank you very much for your feedback and your purchase of the book. I hope you enjoy it! :smileyhappy:

Check my website (http://thelastguardianbook.com/) to buy my YA book, read the first chapter, look over character bios, and much more!
B&N: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/books/e/9780984154364/
Frequent Contributor
MichelleWachbrit
Posts: 35
Registered: ‎09-03-2010
0 Kudos

Re: The Last Guardian Chapter 1

Still looking to get some construcive feedback. :smileyhappy:

Check my website (http://thelastguardianbook.com/) to buy my YA book, read the first chapter, look over character bios, and much more!
B&N: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/books/e/9780984154364/
Frequent Contributor
MichelleWachbrit
Posts: 35
Registered: ‎09-03-2010
0 Kudos

Re: The Last Guardian Chapter 1

So no one else would like to comment? ;__;

Check my website (http://thelastguardianbook.com/) to buy my YA book, read the first chapter, look over character bios, and much more!
B&N: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/books/e/9780984154364/