(The Illumination Paradox #1)
Publication date: December 12th 2013
Genres: Steampunk, Young Adult
Even in a land of eternal twilight, secrets can’t stay hidden forever.
Seventeen-year-old Eyelet Elsworth is no stranger to living in the dark. She’s hidden her secret affliction all of her life—a life that would be in danger if superstitious townspeople ever guessed the truth. After her mother is accused and executed for a crime that she didn’t commit, the now-orphaned Eyelet has no choice but to track down the machine—her last hope for a cure. But Eyelet’s late father’s most prized invention, the Illuminator, has been missing since the day of the mysterious flash—a day that saw the sun wiped out over Brethren forever.
Alone and on the run, she finds the Illuminator—only to witness a young man hauling it away. Determined to follow the thief and recover the machine, she ventures into the deepest, darkest, most dangerous part of her twisted world.
The horse rears up, driving the crowd back, creating an opening for the carriage to thread through.
“Wait!” I shout, pressing ahead, shouldering my way through the angry crowd. “Wait!” I pound at the doors. “Please! I need to speak to you!”
A second crack of the whip and the horse surges forward.
I hoist my skirts and start to run. “Wait!” I shout again, struggling to keep up at the side of the carriage. “Wait!” I pound. “Please, wait!”
The stranger brings his whip down hard over his horse’s back. I dig in, thrusting on, stretching my legs out farther than they’ve ever been stretched before. “Please,” I shout, losing ground. “Please, I beg you, stop the coach!”
If I lose him, I’ve lost everything.
I can’t let that happen.
Won’t let that happen.
I’ve no hope without my father’s machine.
I lunge, throwing myself at the back of the carriage, barely catching a toe on the edge of the running boards, embedding my nails into the carriage’s seams, and hang on with everything I’ve got. The carriage surges forward, the streets of Gears fast becoming a memory.
“Stop!” I plead. My boot slips from the running boards. I swing out to the side of the carriage, dangling by one arm, struggling, trying to kick my way back up onto the platform, slowly losing my grip. “Stop, please!”
The stranger at the mount turns his head. “What are you doing?” he shouts. “Get off!”
I hang by the tips of my fingers, shocked, staring at him. I don’t know whether to scream or cry. The face of a monster stares back at me, framed in a mop of curls darker than a raven’s wing. His skin is ghostly white, marred by raised and purpled bruises. One, in the shape of an open-mouthed snake, devours his face—while the other, a purple hand, wrings his neck. He stares back at me through eyes as pink as a rabbit’s. A strange and single lock of pure-white hair cascades down over his left eye. I’ve never seen anything like it. Not even in a book. It’s as though he’s escaped a freak show.
“I said, get off!” he shouts again.
I purse my lips, trying not to cry. “I won’t!” I shout, hoisting myself up higher onto the back of the coach, my eyes still shamefully glued to his startling face.
My foot slips again and I sink beneath the rooftop, striking my chin hard on the way down. Grasping for a seam, I try to pull myself up, only to lose my grip with the other hand. My heart lodges in my throat as I swing off again to the opposite side, the toes of my boots burrowing twisted trenches through the dirt behind.
The stranger’s face appears over the top of the cab. His eyes are lit like flares. “For the love of God,” he cusses, teetering on hand and knee, then disappears, only to reappear a second later, the reins clenched between his teeth. “Give me your hand!” He reaches out for me.
My heart staggers in my chest. “I can’t,” I shout up at him. “I won’t!”
“You won’t?” His brows fold. “Are you mad?”
My fingers slowly begin to slip from the seam; my heart squirrels into my throat.
“You are in no position to be negotiating—now take my hand!” the stranger insists.
“Take it!” he shouts. When I still don’t, he clamps his hand around my arm. “Now,” he says, “on the count of three, I’m going to pull you up—”
“Oh no, you’re not!” I clench my teeth.
“Then I’m going to let you down, which is it?”
I drop my chin, surveying the speed of the terrain rolling beneath my feet. “Up,” I say, turning my chin toward him.
“Rational choice,” the stranger says. “On the count of three. Ready?”
I love to read, write, paint (walls and paper). I have a love/hate relationship with chocolate, grammar, and technology and would rather hang out with a dog, than a cat. I prefer creating things to cleaning things, and believe laughter is a one-stop-shop solution to all that ails you. You will always find a purple wall (or two) in my house (currently in my writing room), and there may or may not be a hidden passageway that leads to a mystery room. (Okay, so you won’t find a hidden passageway, but a girl can dream, can’t she?) Oh, and tea. There will always be tea.My writing style has been described as edgy and rule-breaking, and by some–a touch Tim Burton-esque. Because of this, I am often referred to as the Quentin Tarantino of YA among writing friends.In my former life, I was a teacher (both grade school and college-don’t ask), but more recently I’ve been a graduate of Ellen Hopkin’s Nevada Mentor Program and a student of James Scott Bell, Christopher Vogler and Don Maass. An excerpt from Lumière earned me the 2012 Don Maass Break Out Novel Intensive Scholarship.
Lumière–A Romantic Steampunk Fantasy–my debut novel, is the recipient of an indieBRAG Medallion!!! B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree October 15, 2014) I am so proud! (LUMIERE by Jacqueline E. Garlick is a B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree. This tells a reader that this book is well worth their time and money!) Book II of the ILLUMINATION PARADOX SERIES, is out January 26th, now on pre-order.
Also, check out my young adult contemporary romantic/mystery serial, IF ONLY, where reluctant telepathic sleuth Kyla Cooper must embrace her powers and risks all to solve the mystery of what happened to her boyfriend Denver Munro, becoming his voice of truth, before he has no voice at all…
I’m open to reviews and interview, requests for skype visits, guest blogs, pod casts and book club meetings! I LOVE TO HEAR FROM READERS!
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