Curse of Stars
(Diamond Crier #1)
Publication date: February 19th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Sabi Perez is the last Diamond Crier, only she doesn’t know it. Not until a crazed ruler from another world comes to collect her priceless tears and won’t take no for an answer.
Living in New York, Sabi’s seen some nasty things, but the lengths to which her captor will go to keep his crown are things found only in the darkest nightmares. Afraid and alone, Sabi finds solace in her cellmate, Anya, and Cabal, a fellow Crier who also has powers, a rare combination that buys his favor from the ruler. Only it’s a favor he doesn’t want.
In a fit of rage, power erupts out of Sabi, the same power Cabal has, and a spark of hope ignites. Together they may have a chance at escape, something no other Crier has done. Except a ruler hellbent on draining them of every last diamond tear isn’t their only hurdle. If they escape they’ll be hunted to the ends of the earth, if they survive the trek to safety. If they stay the ruler will leech them dry. Sabi would rather die trying than lie down and die, even if that means running away into even more danger.
“. . . vividly imagined and deftly plotted dark fantasy . . .” BookLife Prize in Fiction
“I won’t let you take her,” Papa said. His voice rumbled through him into Sabi. She pressed her face into his shoulder but kept her eyes on the man.
“I expected you to say that.” He reached into a pocket on the inside of his cloak and pulled out a vial about as tall as a fist. Inside was a small orb of purple casting the glow up onto his face. It was so small, but it made Papa press harder into her, grinding her back into the window frame. Mama muttered more and Matti gasped as she fisted Mama’s sleeve. “This will ensure I do.”
The man leaned forward slightly, as if he needed to look around Papa when Sabi’s eyes stared right at him. “So many things you don’t know. This is your family’s heart.”
“Where did you get that?” If Mama were a snake she’d be rattling her tail, her fangs down and ready to strike.
His gaze slid slowly over to her. “From someone smart enough not to get in my way.” He looked back to Sabi. “You aren’t in here, my little Crier.” He laughed. “No, that wouldn’t work, would it? No sense in me doing all this work just to kill the last Diamond Crier because her parents were insubordinate. No. But the little one is.” With the vial in his hand he pointed at Matti and she whimpered. Sabi saw her duck farther behind Mama. “Let’s get off at the next stop.”
“The driver . . .” Sabi said, her voice cracking, strained under tears left unshed. “He won’t let us off. He’ll call the police. Papa tsked at her, trying to get her to be quiet, but it didn’t work. “You won’t get away with this.”
The man laughed. More like guffawed, a hearty belly laugh that made Sabi’s skin crawl. “Dear one, you could scream at the top of your lungs and no one would even bat an eye.”
She looked toward the front of the bus and indeed no one had turned around. The driver carried on, not even looking up in his rearview mirror.
“Hey!” Sabi yelled. She squirmed out from behind Papa while he grasped for her arms, trying to pull her back down. “Help us! Call the police!”
She heard her voice. Mama, Papa, and Matti all heard her. The man sat there smiling at her. No one else showed any signs that she was there at all.
Donna has been writing since she was in the single digits when she first realized she needed to do something about all the thoughts in her head. After a stint with bad poetry she finally found her way to novels, mainly of the young adult fantasy variety. When she’s not cranking out more stories she works a regular 9 to 5, reads anywhere from 2 to 3 books a week, drinks copious amounts of tea, eats way too much, and makes her own beauty products because her skin turns into a sentient hive if she uses anything else. This is mostly because she lives in the desert where the air siphons water clean out of her. She lives with a man named Steve and several quadrupeds: three cats named Renfield, Sam, and Dean; and a MinPin named Malfoy.