Book Blitz: Choices by Alexander Patterson

Posted December 5, 2015 by girlswit in Book Blitz, Excerpt, Giveaway, Uncategorized / 2 Comments

Choices by Alexander Patterson 
Publication date: December 8th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Young Adult


Richard Örlendr died over a thousand years ago. He lived in Norway during the Germanic Iron Age and trusted in the judgement of the gods. That is not to say he did not question them when they gave him a dragon, nor did he blindly follow their orders when they told him to go to war. But, when one god told him to kill another, Richard was unable to rely on their wisdom. He had to turn to the Norns.

The Norns guide fate. They shape it past, present, and future; however, it is not set in stone. A hero can change his fate. A hero can chose his destiny. The Norns can weave a new life, but what happens if the Norns are dead? Do heroes have greater freedom? Or are they locked into their destiny since there is no one left to weave?

Purchase:   Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble


“Don’t cry,” Vincent said.
     “I’m going to the
stars!” Elizabeth cried out, small tears forming at the corners of her eyes.
Elizabeth quickly dabbed at her eyes, before embracing Vincent. “Happy Birthday
Elizabeth.” Elizabeth stepped away from Vincent, her broad smile slowly changing
into a sly grin. “It’s your birthday too, you know.”
     “And we’ll
celebrate that tomorrow” Vincent quickly responded. “But today it’s your
birthday. Once we get back we can do something for mine.”
     “And I’ll hold
you to that. We’re not going to repeat last year, I won’t have you skipping a
celebration each year.”
     “I’m your older
brother –“
laughed, “We’re twins! We have the same birthday, for all we know I’m older.”
This was true, Elizabeth and Vincent were twins, although it was hard to tell
unless you already knew that fact. Elizabeth had blond frizzy hair, brown eyes,
and was quick to give a gentle smile. Vincent was different. He had black hair,
green eyes, and was one of the most serious people that the city had seen. He
rarely ever smiled, except for when he was with Elizabeth.
     “We can argue
about this on the way up to the surface.” Vincent smiled, swiftly turning as he
led Elizabeth towards the surface, towards the stars.
     Elizabeth briskly
walked besides Vincent; she had to take two steps to match one of Vincent’s
long strides. “Where are we going?” She asked. “Jacob found a hole in the
Border this morning. We should try to reach it before curfew.” Elizabeth nodded
in agreement. Being caught outside during curfew would be bad. Curfew was one
of the most important laws, for many reasons: most important of which was after
the lights went out, it was nearly impossible to see your outstretched hand,
let alone safely navigate the twisting streets of the city.
     It wasn’t far to the Border, or so it was
called. The Border really wasn’t much of a border. It was more of a chain link
fence that served to represent the end of the lighted city. The lighted city
had once stretched far into the darkness. It was once a sprawling city, but
when the doors to the surface were shut, the lighted portions of the city
shrank back until only the city center and a few acres of farmland remained.
The areas that were once populated fell into a state of darkness.
     The lights began
to flicker as they neared the Border. “We should hurry.” Vincent said. “They’ll
check the perimeter soon.” Vincent and Elizabeth wandered down the Border,
poking and prodding at the fence, until they found the small cut in the fence
that Jacob had described. “Here we are.” Vincent said, as he gently lifted the
flap of the fence, forming a small hole for Elizabeth to crawl through. After
she made it through, Elizabeth turned and reciprocated the favor for Vincent.
     After they were
through the Border Vincent pulled two thin flashlights from his coat pocket.
Handing one to Elizabeth, he looked into the thick veil of darkness that
stretched out before them. “How far do you think it goes?” Elizabeth asked.
     “It shouldn’t
take more than half an hour to reach the exit. If we hurry we can be in the
starlight in an hour.”
     “Let’s go then!”
Elizabeth said as she rushed forward.
     They walked
through the derelict city, carefully avoiding the mounds of rubble that
occasionally blocked their path. They went forward slowly, relying on the small
beams of light that emitted from their flashlights. They chose not to talk as
they went through the darkness. Vincent was lost in thought, thinking about the
tales of monsters and stories of what life was once like in the city; while
Elizabeth was consumed by her dreams of the stars. She thought back to the
descriptions that her grandmother had told her; she thought back upon her
childhood drawings – knowing that in just a few minutes she would be standing underneath
the starlight, that until now she had only dreamed about seeing.
     They were close
to the passageways now. The dark building that surrounded them receded into an
open plain, the fragmented road started to decay into a smooth pathway covered
in grass. The road straightened until they came to a massive arch way that
spanned the road and ascended up into the darkness high above the reach of
their lights. “Where do we go from here?” Elizabeth asked.
     “I don’t know. As
far as I can tell, this is the farthest anyone’s been from the city. I think
the road will go up eventually.” Elizabeth walked into the gaping maw of the
arch, eager to greet the stars with her own eyes.
     They walked
forward in silence, steadily growing more and more anxious as the road began to
rise, sloping upwards towards the surface. “What did you say?” Elizabeth asked.
     “What? I didn’t
say anything. What are you-” A voice drifted up towards them from the dark
recesses of the passage. Elizabeth and Vincent briefly looked at each other.
     “Run.” She
agreed. They ran down the road their, flashlights sending dancing beams along
the walls around them. A small alcove appeared along the wall to their left,
set into the far wall was a metal door. “In here” Vincent whispered, as he
pulled opened the metal door. The door screamed out in a shrill cry, as the
rusty hinges were forced into action. The door led to a small storage room.
Elizabeth closed the door behind them, filling the room with the moans of the
door. The room was crowded with shelves. The shelves were filled with
miscellaneous instruments that were once used for maintaining the dark roadway
outside. Cans of grease, and boxes of light bulbs lay underneath a pile of dust
near the back corner while a mound of cardboard boxes threatened to collapse to
the left of the entrance.
     They waited in
silence as the voices steadily approached. Vincent turned off his flashlight
and motioned for Elizabeth to do the same. The room descended into darkness.
They waited in silence as the voices steadily got closer. The tense seconds
stretched into minutes until the voices became audible. Two men were speaking,
that much was clear, but their words were like guttural growls. Their footsteps
thudded down the road, until the men came to a halt outside of the storage
     The voices
stopped outside of the door. The muffled sounds of a make-shift camp slipped in
through the door as the two men set heavy packs on the ground. A dancing light
flickered into the storage room, underneath the door, as the men started a
small fire.
     “We can’t stay
here.” Elizabeth whispered.
     “We can’t leave
either. Vincent reminded her. “I don’t think we should trust that those two
people will simply let us walk by.”
     “We can’t leave
through the door, but…” She gestured up, towards the back of the room. The
metal for a small vent glinted in the firelight above the metal shelves. “We
should be able to climb out.” Vincent nodded in agreement “let me go up first,”
he said.
     “Be careful.”
     The light from
the fire outside illuminated the base of the shelves, but the top shelves were
shrouded in darkness. Vincent could barely see the bars that he used as
handholds, as he climbed up towards the vent. The entrance to the vent was
clasped shut by two rusted prongs. The first prong fell off with a simple
nudge, but the other was held firmly in place. Vincent looked down at
Elizabeth. “It’s rusted shut” He whispered. “Hand me up a flashlight.”
Elizabeth complied. Vincent held on to shelf with one hand, twisting his body
to the right, as he leaned down to take the flashlight from Elizabeth. The
shelving shuddered under the pull, but remained upright. Vincent straightened,
and gently tested the flashlight against the prong. Steadily pushing harder
against it until the prong popped off with a soft click. “Alright, I’m in.
Let’s get-”
     The vent entrance
collapsed outwards, slamming into the shelf before falling to the ground with a
thud. The door was thrust open as two men stormed into the room. The dim light
concealed their faces; they each wore an assortment of mismatched garments. The
first man wore baggy khaki pants, tied to his waist with a frayed rope, and he
wore a leather jacket; in his hand he wielded a long metal pipe. The other man
was short; he was wearing jeans and a black duster, which made the short knife
in his hand all the more terrifying.
     They didn’t
notice Vincent, but instead turned on Elizabeth who held her flashlight like a
small club. Vincent pounced from the shelves with a cry, tackling the man with
the club, while Elizabeth lunged at the other man, swinging her flashlight
towards his head. Vincent rolled on top, trying to rip the club from the man’s
grasp. He clawed the man’s hands, while the man punched at his gut. Vincent
leaned forward, head-butting the man in the nose. He felt the crunch of
cartilage and bone; the man grunted in frustration as Vincent pulled the pipe
from his hands. He turned around in time to see Elizabeth hit the other man in
the head with her flashlight. She groaned and put a hand to her chest, as
Vincent pulled her through the door. He quickly shut the door behind them and
jammed the door shut by wedging the pipe in between the door and the floor.
     “You okay?”
Vincent asked after he had caught his breath.
     “No.” Came the
weak reply. Vincent turned around, Elizabeth was sitting down. Her side was
drenched in blood, but she looked oddly calm. Vincent chocked back a sob,
rushing to her. He ripped off part of his shirt, searching for the wound. A
long, jagged, cut ran down her chest going down to her left hip. He tied the
scrap over what looked to be the worst of the wound. He carefully put one arm
under the crook of her knees, and the other behind her back. “I have to take
you back,” he muttered as he picked her up. Vincent turned back towards the
city when more voices came up through the darkness. The words were in the same
language as the two other men.
     “We’re trapped.”
Vincent said as he stopped, turning slowly around. “No. No, no, no.” He
muttered to himself. “Not trapped. We can still go up.” He started to run up
the sloping road. “We can go to the surface. They’ll be help there. Up top,
they can help us.”
Elizabeth murmured. “It’s okay.” Vincent kept running. “I need you to know that
it’s okay.” Vincent began to cry, hot tears streamed down his cheeks as his
footsteps echoed off the tunnel walls. “I want you to know that I love you.
You’re my brother, you’re the best brother that I could ever wish for.”
     “Save your
energy. We’re almost there.” The road began to level out, until a gentle breeze
started to drift in towards them. “Feel that Elizabeth? That’s the stars.
That’s the starlight.”

     They emerged out
of the tunnel and onto a plain. Before them stretched the world, and above them
in the night sky lay a blanket of darkness. The stars were smothered, blotted
out by the years of pollution and war. Vincent fell to his knees as he cradled
Elizabeth. He wept as he looked down at her gentle face. She lifted her hand,
placing it gently on his cheek in an attempt to wipe away a tear saying “Don’t
cry, I’m going to the stars.”

Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)

-$25 Amazon Gift Card + a signed poster of the book cover
-Ends December 10th

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2 responses to “Book Blitz: Choices by Alexander Patterson

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