Angie Frazier's young adult novels, EVERLASTING and THE ETERNAL SEA blend historical fantasy, adventure, and a star-crossed love triangle between the upper-class Camille Rowen, her handsome and noble fiance Randall Jackson, and Oscar Kildare, the rugged first mate on Camille's father's ship.
Red Ring Hood
Camille shot an impatient glance toward the clock. She’d registered absolutely nothing her teacher had said about the French and Indian War during the last forty-five minutes. How could she? After the final bell, Camille would see the boy she had no business looking forward to seeing. Oscar.
The bell pealed throughout Bay High. Camille jumped from her seat, attracting attention from everyone, especially her best friend, Christina.
“Somewhere better to be?” Christina asked. “Oh, wait. We’re in history class. Of course there’s somewhere better to be.”
Camille tried to reign in her usual calm as she packed her messenger bag. What was wrong with her? Oscar was a nobody. He was one of those guys who blended into the crowd. Not popular or unpopular. Just invisible. That’s how he’d been for Camille. Until last week.
Christina linked arms with her and plowed through the crowded hall toward their locker. “Are you meeting up with Randall or something?”
Randall. Camille should have been excited about seeing her boyfriend, not Oscar.
“He’s working again,” Camille answered. Just like he did nearly every day after school. Camille never saw him anymore. “I’m just going to my Gram’s.”
“Why don’t you stay over at my house tonight?” Christina asked.
“And how would I let my Gram know the change in plans? Messenger pigeon?”
Christina popped open their locker. “She really needs to get on the grid. I respect her whole nature thing, living out in the forest, eating berries and ferns and whatever. But who doesn’t have a cell phone?”
“Or a car,” Camille added, reaching for her brown hoodie.
Christina snatched the hoodie away and whipped out her own bright red cape. “You can’t go biking through the woods to Grandma’s house looking like Bambi.”
Camille glanced up and down the row of blue-painted lockers as she took Christina’s Victorianesque cape and clasped it around her collarbone. Oscar wasn’t at his locker. Not seeing him there was like falling off the crest of a storm wave. Camille had watched his locker all week, and the few times it had paid off she’d been rewarded with what felt like a bag of microwave popcorn inflating inside her chest. It was hot and fast. Dangerous.
“Give your Gram a hug for me,” Christina said as they reached the bike racks. Camille kicked up the stand on hers.
“She was sick last night. Some kind of chesty thing,” she replied. Christina grimaced.
“Then just high five her for me.”
Camille waved to her friend as she wheeled out of the parking lot, taking a last look around. She wasn’t sure what Oscar had for a rig. She’d talked to him last week for the first time inside the Sports Den. She’d been getting a new tire for her bike, and he’d been buying a pair of hiking boots. He’d said hi. Asked if she knew of any little-known trails. And then they’d talked for like a half an hour. Camille’s cheeks had ached from all the smiling.
How had she overlooked him? Oscar was tall, broad-shouldered, and his eyes were the color of gathering clouds before a summer storm. He was perfect.
Camille steered off the main road and into a field, toward the thin bicycle path that cut through the forest beyond. Her grandmother lived in a solar-powered yurt deep inside the woods, surrounded by a clearing of gardens, chicken coops, and a small barn for her pair of palominos—her main modes of transportation. It was where Camille stayed whenever her father was away from San Francisco on business. Her mother was out of the picture, off living in Australia somewhere. Whatever. Having one parent was enough. Plus, she had her Gram.
Staying at the yurt this next week could be a good thing. At the Sports Den, Oscar had given Camille his number. She should just call and ask him to go hiking. Camille closed her eyes against the cool autumn air rushing at her. Randall. Think of Randall.
She opened her eyes—and saw a black, furry shape blur across the path ahead. She squeezed the brake and peered through the limbs and foliage. The creature had been tall and bulky, like a buck. But she’d never heard of black deer before. Whatever it had been, it had disappeared into the dense trees. Camille let up on the brake, thinking it odd the animal hadn’t even left a single fern or twig swaying in its wake. After another minute or so, another thought struck. Usually she passed runners, moms with jogger strollers, or bicyclists. Today, there had been no one. Camille was alone on the path.
She slowed her bike once again, this time to a standstill, and listened. A green scent of leaves and roots and dirt lingered in her nose, but she didn’t hear the trill or hum of a single bird or insect. A distinct feeling settled over her, as heavy as the red cloak around her shoulders: She wasn’t alone. She was being watched.
Amanda Seyfried in Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Red Riding Hood'
Camille rolled her shoulders. “Get a grip,” she told herself, knowing she was letting her imagination get the best of her. Still, Gram’s yurt would be a welcome sight.
She hadn’t made it even a few more seconds down the path when the rustle and snap of branches sounded from behind. Camille jammed on the brake and the back wheel skidded to a side stop. The chain clasp to the red cape cut into her neck as she searched the shaded path.
“Is someone there?”
Another flash of black moved between the trees. Camille dragged in a sharp breath as she made out a tail. A long, furry tail. That is no dog, Camille thought. It wasn’t a coyote or fox either. Arms shaking, Camille whipped around and started pedaling. Fast. Downhill. Veering sharply. Going faster. Until she looked up from a nasty snarl of roots and saw someone standing right in front of her.
Camille stopped so fast the bike bucked her from the seat. She went flying, slamming hard onto the ground and bowling into a pair of legs. She took the person down with her, and as she came to a stop she realized she was completely on top of—
“Oscar?” she panted, her face hovering above his.
“Camille?” His lips slanted in amusement, and a bit of disbelief. He gripped her shoulders. “Are you all right?”
She pushed herself off his chest—which she couldn’t help but notice was gloriously built—and staggered to her feet. Looking back, she saw her bike on its side, wheels spinning wildly. But no animal. She turned back to Oscar. “Oh my god, I’m so sorry. Are you okay?”
He dusted off his jeans and laughed at the question, as if it had been a joke. “More than okay,” he answered, and then glanced over her shoulder. “Why were you riding so fast?”
Camille opened her mouth to tell him about the animal she’d seen, but felt too ridiculous. Nothing had come after her. She’d freaked for no reason.
“Uh, my Gram,” she answered instead, awkwardly trying to straighten her cape. “She lives off the path up here, in the forest. What are you doing out here?”
He must have left school early. Oscar stooped to grab a duffle bag he’d dropped. A length of rope had spilled from the opening.
“There’s a rock gorge further in,” he said, stuffing the rope back in.
“I didn’t know there was a gorge out here.” And she’d been in this forest a lot over the years.
Oscar hefted the bag over his shoulder. She noticed a couple long rips in his jeans and t-shirt, and a streak of blood on one shoulder. He reached for the sides of her cape so suddenly that she flinched. He easily readjusted it for her. “We should go there together sometime.”
Camille’s pulse spiked.
“Definitely,” she replied without a thought to Randall. Bad girl.
“You still have my number?”
Camille nodded, her pulse still spluttering.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” Oscar righted her bike. “You looked kind of panicked just before you plowed into me.”
She grabbed the handlebars. “I thought I saw something. A wolf maybe?” She shook her head. “It’s stupid.”
Oscar’s humor snapped. “A wolf?”
Camille saddled her bike. “I’m sure it’s gone by now.”
“How far to your grandmother’s house?” he asked, scanning the forest.
“Why?” she asked, wary at his sudden intensity.
Oscar pinned her with a sharp, serious stare. “Ride there fast. Don’t stop for anything.” He grabbed her wrist. She caught her breath. “Or anyone, Camille.”
With that, Oscar sprinted onward up the path. She lost sight of him within seconds.
“Okay…” Exactly what had just happened?
Camille took his cryptic advice and rode on fast, still unsettled by the wolfish animal and Oscar’s strange departure. When the posts marking Gram’s property came into view, her relief was short-lived. There was something on the ground between the posts. Camille stopped and swung off her bike. What now? Camille wasn’t sure she could take any more weird today.
She crouched for a better look. A shirt and jeans had been tossed over a pair of cross-trainers. Who would have stripped down right in front of her Gram’s? Camille reached out and prodded the jeans carefully. The faded green t-shirt struck her as familiar. The pair of gray Nikes, too. Randall had a pair just like them. Camille flipped the jeans to see the back pockets. Her fingers clasped the denim. The frayed corner of one pocket had ripped into a thumb-sized hole, stretched bigger, Camille knew, when she’d once pulled on it, teasing Randall over how scrubby it made him look.
Camille dropped the jeans and shot to her feet. They were Randall’s. Randall’s t-shirt. Randall’s sneakers. She looked up the well-worn path leading to Gram’s yurt, certain she was locked in some trip of a dream. But then a low, husky growl rippled through the air behind her and ensured Camille it wasn’t a dream. It was a nightmare. Slowly, she turned.
The wolf was enormous. It was covered in black fur, a streak of gray down the column of its throat. And its eyes…so black and imperious, Camille couldn’t look away. Not until the wolf bared its fangs and sprang at her. She dove to the side, rolling into the property post and jamming her ribs. The wolf chased Camille with its eyes. Its sharp snout shriveled under a wet snarl. She pressed back into the post with no escape. No weapon.
The wolf leaped for her. Camille screamed. And a flash of silver slashed the air between them. The animal crashed to the dirt in agonizing yowls. She stared in horror as the squirming wolf’s thick black fur deteriorated in patches, leaving pale, bare skin in its place. Its muscled limbs, arched spine, and angular jaw and cranium all shifted, melting away, changing into something else within seconds. Something human. And not just any human.
Camille heaved air into her lungs. “Randall?”
He lay naked on the dirt path, a silver knife embedded in his bloodied thigh. He looked at her, his eyes glazed by pain and confusion.
“Camille,” he gasped. “I’m so sorry. I—I couldn’t stop it—”
Oscar stepped from the trees with silver knife clenched in his fist. He threw down his duffle bag and looked at Randall without a trace of the shock reeling through Camille. Oscar had already known. And he’d known how to stop Randall, too. How to stop the wolf. Oscar lifted his gaze to Camille.
“I think it’s time you seriously reconsidered your choice of a boyfriend.”
What a great tale Angie! Thank you so much for taking the time to write it for us ^^
You can Find Camille, Oscar & Randall in Everlasting and Eternal Sea!
Sailing aboard her father's ship is all seventeen-year-old Camille Rowen has ever wanted. But as a lady in 1855 San Francisco, her future is set: marry a man she doesn't love in order to preseve her social standing. On her last voyage before the wedding, Camille learns the mother she has always believed dead is in fact alive and in Australia. When their Sydney-bound ship goes down in a gale, and her father dies, Camille sets out to find her mother and a map in her possession - a map believed to lead to a stone that once belonged to the legendary civilization of the (cont'd)
(cont'd) immortals. The stone can do exactly what Camille wants most: bring someone back from the dead. Unfortunately, her father's adversary is also on the hunt for the stone, and she must race him to it. The only person Camille can depend on is Oscar - a handsome young sailor and her father's first mate - who is in love with Camille and whom she is inexplicably drawn to despite his low social standing and her pending wedding vows.
With an Australian card shark acting as their guide, Camille eludes murderous bushrangers, traverses dangerous highlands, evades a curse placed on the stone, and unravels the mystery behind her mother's disappearance sixteen years earlier. But when another death shakes her conviction to resurrect her father, Camille must choose what - and who - matters most.
Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository
Romance and adventure are just around the corner . . .
After the thrilling journey that led Camille through the dangerous discovery of love, secrets, and a magical stone that grants immortality, Camille has everything she wants. She's escaped the men who wanted her dead, and now she is ready to build a new life with Oscar, her one true love. But things are not to be so simple. Oscar is acting strangely, and before they can even board a ship from Australia back home, to San Francisco, Camille learns that the journey is not over. If she does not follow the magic of the curse of Umandu, her life and Ocar's could be in grave danger.
Lucky for you, I have a copy of Everlasting and one of Eternal Sea for one (1) lucky winner!
To enter: leave a comment for Angie.
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Tweet: #FantasticFables Angie Frazier's take on Red Riding Hood http://www.tyngasreviews.com/2011/08/ffred-riding-hood-by-angie-frazier.html | Win: Everlasting & Eternal Sea | @Scholastic PLZ RT
Ends September 7th, 2011.
Angie has always felt a connection to the past, particularly the 19th century and early 20th century. Her stories simply insist on taking place in other time periods. Her characters never complain—the clothing was much more stylish, and in books no one ever suffers for lack of modern deodorant or toothpaste.
Angie’s debut young adult novel, EVERLASTING, set in 1855 Australia, took over six years to research and write. The sequel, THE ETERNAL SEA will release in June 2011. Her first middle grade novel, THE MIDNIGHT TUNNEL: A SUZANNA SNOW MYSTERY gave Angie the chance to remember what it was like to be an eleven-year- old with big dreams and a kick butt detective gadget kit (compliments of mom and dad).
Whether she’s writing for teens or middle scholars, the themes of Angie’s stories usually revolve around difficult choices, family drama, and love in all forms. Angie lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three daughters, their big black lab, and a pair of highly destructive cats.