Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
Release Date: January 2014
Anita has never been ordinary, she’s stuck out like a sore thumb her entire life; not only can she see the energy of others, a rare skill, but she’s won every Body challenge she’s ever entered. So when the powerful, good looking Descendants, Marcus and Alexander, mysteriously arrive in Empire, her difference attracts and keeps their attention.
Once in Empire, the sudden death of ruling Body Descendant, Christiana, sets in motion a number of events; a quest for the treacherous Austin to find the girl Christiana had been looking for; a challenge where Anita stands out more vibrantly than ever before; a perilous dip in the world’s energy; and a dangerous belief among the people that they will never truly be free. Powerful factions soon form within the ruling elite and when a trusted friend and mentor reaches out to ask for Anita’s help, she has to make a choice; help her friend and betray the one she loves, or do nothing and watch the people starve.
‘I declare this Chase…open,’ Austin roared, as he flung the lid open and a pigeon launched itself into the sky.
Anita watched the pigeon in what seemed like slow motion as it paused for a split second in mid-air. She used this opportunity to point her energy metre at the bird and lock on to its energy before hurtling down the hill with the rest of the contestants. About half way down she felt someone shove her forcefully sideways. She stumbled and almost fell as she saw Gwyn whip past her. Bitch, thought Anita. Now she felt justified in hating her. Two can play at that game, she thought, as she launched herself off a ledge at the bottom of the hill. She felt like she was flying. Not missing a beat, she landed, completed a forward roll, and picked up her pace again. The stunt gave her a bit of a lead, as most other contestants, including Gwyn, she noticed smugly, were taking the path all the way to the bottom, and were stuck in single file as the path narrowed. Anita knew that Bas would follow her though, and the other Descendants had been behind her, so who knew what they’d done. She pelted at full speed across a rickety bridge over the river into the dense woodland the other side. Anita could feel someone coming up behind her. She knew with energy that strong that it would be one of the Descendants, she just didn’t know which one, and it would waste time and energy, not to mention require risking running into a tree, if she turned to take a look.
She soon got an answer. As she landed her vault of the fence at the far side of the woods, she saw Alexander’s delicious form recover from his own leap and race away. Anita picked up her pace to match Alexander’s, not quite believing how fast he was for a Spirit. They flew across the open field, easily jumping the stream that ran through its middle, and leapt at the steep incline the far side. Anita felt totally exhilarated. This was the first time she’d ever been truly challenged in a race, and that spurred her on to new depths of determination.
They reached the hill’s summit and picked their way down the other side back to the river. ‘You could at least pretend to use your energy metre,’ Alexander jibed. ‘I’ve already warned you once.’
‘You seem to have a callous disregard for your own safety, whilst being particularly precious about mine,’ she shot back. ‘Any specific reason for that?’
‘I’m the Spirit Descendant; people would mock me if I couldn’t read energy. You, on the other hand, are a Body, with, as it turns out, exceptional Body skills, as well as significant Spirit abilities. You are not what you might call normal, and this is a dangerous climate in which to stick out.’
‘Well you seem to have remarkable Body skills for a Spirit and seem to be fine, so I’ll take my chances,’ retorted Anita, as they reached the river and started jumping from rock to rock to cross it. The next group of challengers, including Gwyn, Bas and Marcus had reached the summit behind them, and Anita made a show of holding up her energy metre as she crossed the river and pointing in the direction that the pigeon had flown. ‘Happy now?’ Anita called over her shoulder as she launched into a sprint along the river bank the other side. Alexander pelted after her, a bit pissed off now. He’d recently been getting used to people doing whatever he said, and Anita’s disobedience was infuriating.
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About the Author
Harriet was born in Germany in 1987, the family returning to the UK, to Dorset shortly afterwards. She lived there until she was 5, her grandfather teaching her the basics of cheating at cards and swindling chocolate, her mother starting to instil a (some would argue) unhealthy relationship with cake, and the neighbours demonstrating that some people don't understand cherry blossom is there to be picked, mixed with mint and water and sold as perfume.
Then there was Scotland; stealthy guinea pig breeding, riding horses, advanced cards, more cake, then to Devon and school in Exeter. She loved maths in the early years, but by the time she got to A Level, Sociology was her favourite subject, opening her eyes to things she'd never before considered, namely, nobody is really right, nobody is really normal and primary socialisation has a lot to answer for.
At the age of about 12, Harriet started rowing for Exeter Rowing Club. This quickly took over her life and before too long she was clad in lycra, training 6 days a week and competing at events around the country.
After finishing her A Levels, Harriet went to university in St Andrews, studying Philosophy for two years, then switching to Management. She was particularly interested in the 'people' elements of her course and especially the areas concerning how people create and react to change. After four very civilised years by the sea, she ventured to London, to foray into the strange world of insurance (surprisingly, more interesting than you might think). She worked as a Project Manager on large change programmes before founding her own consultancy in 2015.
Harriet now lives in Hertfordshire with her husband Chris and daughter Atia. When she isn't, writing, editing, eating, running around after her toddler, or imagining how much better life would be with the addition of a springer spaniel, she occasionally finds the time to make hats.