Jessie Gillmansen is a small town girl with a big imagination and even bigger problems when a family of Russian-Americans move into her hometown of Junction bringing paranormal trouble. Jessie narrates most of the 13 to Life series and only gets a little break starting in Bargains and Betrayals (book 3, releasing August 16) when she splits the job of narration with one of the troublesome imports. This "Red Riding Remix" is narrated by her and introduces those of you who aren't yet familiar with the books to two of my scene-stealing secondary characters. I hope you enjoy it and, as Pietr would say: Live life fiercely!
I was out for a trail ride on Rio one crisp autumn evening when I saw the tracks. Someone wearing sneakers had jogged their way down the dusty path and from the depth of the imprint of the right foot I guessed the girl was carrying something pretty heavy.
No one was supposed to be out in the woods after dark — we’d been having sightings of all sorts of strange things around Junction lately.
Rio danced beneath me, hooves slapping the leaf litter, eager to finish our ride and return home to the safety of her locked stall. “Easy, girl,” I whispered, patting her neck. “Let’s just follow a hunch...”
We went a few steps further and I saw it — the tracks of a huge canine.
Rio wuffled, her nostrils flaring.
“I think we should intercede before someone gets the fright of their life,” I muttered.
I pressed my heels into her sides and we followed the trail, only pausing briefly to step around a large picnic basket, its contents spilled across the path.
“We’d better hurry...”
Up ahead I saw the beast’s back as it pinned its struggling prey to a tree. A red riding hood whipped loose from the victim in the breeze, the girl’s long hair snaking out in wild auburn tendrils.
“Let her go, you beast!” I thundered, forcing Rio forward.
The creature, furred like a wolf but with strange proportions, stood on its hind legs, its front paws braced on either side of the girl’s shoulders.
Why did she not scream — why not cry out in fear?
The werewolf was shoved aside by the girl.
He dropped to all fours and began to change, fur receding to show smooth and supple flesh.
And the victim — a girl I thought I recognized — turned her vengeful anger on me — her rescuer!
“Honest to God, Jessie,” Amy snapped as she wiped drool off her cheek, “you and your writer’s imagination... I swear. I can’t get a moment’s peace around here.” She pulled her hair back into a ponytail and straightened her jogging suit. “And you” – she scolded the werewolf, now a handsome young man with dark curls tumbling into his blue eyes-- “enough with the stalking and the pouncing and the licking my face thing. I mean — eww!”
Max looked up at her with a grin that could only mean trouble. But Amy couldn’t resist his brand of trouble. He leaned back, watching her — thankfully back in his jeans — and mentioned, “You were saying: What big teeth you have...?”
Amy blushed and I sighed, turning Rio back toward home, and the barn. Amy made a little coughing noise and laughed. “And what big--”
I couldn’t help it. I pressed my hands to my ears and, taking a cue from my best friend Amy, sang loudly to block out their conversation, letting Rio set the pace home.
Locked away at Pecan Place, Jessie finds her situation to be even more dangerous than she feared. While she struggles to maintain her sanity and discover answers about the group that seems less and less like any legitimate government agency, Pietr fights to keep their relationship alive. But very aware that his mother’s time is running out, Pietr makes a deal he doesn’t dare tell Jessie about. Because the deal Pietr’s made could mean the death of far more than his tenuous relationship with the girl he loves.
Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository
Interested in winning this book?
Lucky for you, Shannon is offering signed copies of the first three books in the series!
This giveaway is open to Internationally
To enter, just leave a comment letting me know why you like werewolves
You can to earn an extra entry (1) by spreading the word, please provide link in a second comment
tweet: #FantasticFables Read @Shannon_Delany 's take on Red Riding Hood | Win Bargains & Betrayals http://www.tyngasreviews.com/2011/08/ff-red-riding-hood-by-shannon-delany.html | #giveaway PLZ RT
Ends September 7th, 2011.
Shannon Delany has written stories since she was a child. She began writing in earnest when her grandmother fell unexpectedly ill during a family vacation. In 2008 her greatly abbreviated version of 13 to Life (written in just five weeks) won the grand prize in the first-ever cell phone novel contest in the western world through Textnovel.com.
Shannon was thrilled when St. Martin’s Press offered her a contract for a series about her 13 to Life characters. She expanded on the cell phone novel version, adding the subplots and characters she didn’t have time to during the contest. As paranormal as werewolves seem, the grief Shannon used to build Jess’s character is something she personally experienced with the loss of her own mother. Focusing on Jess and Pietr’s story of loss, love and dramatic and dangerous changes, Shannon came to better grips with her own struggle. The resulting novel has earned her blurbs from authors she respects most.
More books by Shannon