Read An Excerpt From Rae Of Hope By W. J. May
Guilder Boarding School
“You can’t undo the past. The sins of the father are the sins of the son, or in this case, daughter.”
Uncle Argyle’s ominous words had echoed in Rae’s head long after he dropped her off at the airport. “A proverb of truth” he had called it. Who spoke like that nowadays? Some good-bye. Tightening her ponytail and futilely trying to tuck her forever-escaping dark curls behind her ears, she looked at her watch, then out the bus window at the tree lined countryside. It seemed strange to see the sun. All she remembered was rain when she had lived in Britain nine years ago.
Trying to get comfortable, Rae tucked her foot up on the seat, and rested her head against her knee as she looked out at the scenery flashing by. A sign outside the window showed the miles before the bus reached Guilder. It’d be another twenty-five minutes. She popped her ear buds in, blew the bangs away from her forehead and stared out the window across the rolling farm fields, trying to let the music from her iPod distract her.
It didn’t work. Just when she felt the tension begin to ease from her shoulders and she started to get into the song, something caught her eye. Black smoke billowed just near the top of a lush green hill. Rae stared, her heart fluttering as an old memory began to take hold. She knew what that smoke meant. She’d seen it before, long ago.
Someone’s house was burning.
Crap, crap crap, no I don’t want to go there. Her heart started racing and her stomach turned over, making her feel nauseous.
Dropping her knee, she gripped the seat in front of her, burying her face in her hands taking deep breathes, like the therapists taught her to do. She’d gone through years of therapy to treat what had been called “panic attacks”. It didn’t matter what other people called it. To her, it was simply hell; like being sucked back in time against her will, to a place she never wanted to revisit. So she breathed the way she’d been taught, slow breathe in, all the way, then slow breath out, all the time chanting it’s not real, it’s not real in her head.
It helped calm her racing heart and made her feel more in control, but itdidn’t erase the memory. Nothing on Earth could do that. Being back in England for the first time and seeing the strange smoke, Rae felt six years old all over again.
She’d been in the living room coloring with new markers before bed when her mother told her to take them to the tree house her dad had built for her and play there until she called her in. That call never came. The blaze bounced horrific shadows around the inside of the tree house. The stinky black smoke slithered in and scared her little six year old self in ways the monsters under her bed never had.
Rae shuddered and lurched upright, forcefully bringing herself back to the present. Could this school be any further into the sticks? Glancing around the now vacant bus, she wondered if the driver had purposely left her until last. She’d watched the last few people get off at a school about fifteen minutes ago, Roe-something or other. They all looked the same, all pretty girls with blonde hair, not one of them thin, pale, and tall like her. They hadn’t been friendly. Big surprise there… She was used to it. She tended to fly under the radar at best. So she handled them the way she always handled the ones who instantly didn’t like her for no reason she could come up with. Rae avoided making eye contact and tried to appear immersed in the Guilder Boarding School brochure. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to make friends. She’d just never really had any. Most kids her age either didn’t like her or didn’t notice her.
It bugged her that Uncle Argyle had pushed so hard for her to go when Guilder sent the letter. He’d been the one to move them all from Scotland to New York when she’d come to live with them, taking her away from the horrible tragedy of her parents’ death, and now, he suddenly leapt at the chance for her to go back? It didn’t make any sense. It sort of sucked to leave her current high school. She lacked close friends, but she also lacked enemies, which was a plus in her book. The girls there seemed just as stuck up as the ones who’d gotten off the bus earlier, but they’d simply ignored her. Rae always told herself it didn’t matter anyway. Cliques were so passé in her opinion.
Another weird thing that she couldn’t seem to find an answer to was why Guilder would choose her? How did they even know she existed? Her uncle boasted how big a deal it was for her to be selected, but he’d never once explained how they’d even come to know about her in the first place. She had the grades, the brain part always came easy for her, but she didn’t have any extra-curricular activities at all, nothing to make her stand out. So, how had this amazing school she’d never heard of before decide to take her on? It didn’t make any sense. She tried a few times before she left to corner her uncle and get him to explain part or all of it, but he’d always seemed to be busy.
While this wasn’t exactly abnormal behavior for him, it still left her with a sense of foreboding, something that had clung to her ever since she got the letter. She couldn’t figure out why, but she had a strong sense that something big was coming. Whether it was good or bad, she didn’t know.
How hard do you have to shake a family tree to find out the truth about the past?
Fifteen-year-old Rae Kerrigan never questioned her family’s history. That is until she accepted a scholarship to Guilder Boarding School in England. Guilder is an exclusive, gifted school. Rae has no idea what she is getting herself into or that her family’s past is going to come back and taunt her.
She learns she is part of an unparalleled group of individuals who become inked with a unique tattoo (tatu) on their sixteenth birthday. The tatu enables them to have supernatural powers particular to the shape of their ink-art. Both of her parents where inked, though Rae never knew, as they passed away when she was young. Learning about her family’s past, her evil father and sacrificial mother, Rae needs to decide if there is a ray of hope in her own life.
About The Author:
Wanita May grew up in the fruit belt of Ontario – St.Catharines. Crazy-happy childhood, she always has had a vivid imagination and loads of energy.
The youngest of six — four older brothers, and sister – they taught her at a young age to be competitive in all aspects of life.
At sixteen, she began competing in athletics (track and field) and before she turned seventeen, she was representing Canada in high jump. She continued to compete, breaking Canada’s JR High Jump record (1.92m – 6′ 3 1/2″ for those metric-ly challenged). She attented University of Toronto, and Kansas State University - graduating with a BS degree in Kinesiology and beginning her Masters in Business.
She is currently married, and the mother of three adorable kids.
After her father passed away in 2009, from a six-year battle with cancer (which she still believes he won the fight against), she began to write again. A passion she’d loved for years, but realized life was too short to keep putting it off.
Her first book, Rae of Hope – from the Chronicles of Kerrigan - is available Nov 15, 2001 by Mitchell Morris Publishing. It is contracted as a four book series and available in print and ebook through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords and other online sites.
She is currently represented by Dawn Dowdle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency. Wanita is a writer of Young Adult, Fantasy Fiction and where ever else her little muses take her.
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