Saturday, December 21, 2013

Clara by Suzanna J. Linton

Title: Clara
Author: Suzanna J. Linton
Genre:  Fantasy

To save a nation, Clara will have to see through both the fog of war, and the fog of her own heart...

Sold into slavery as a child, and rendered mute by the horrors she suffered, Clara's life extends no further than the castle kitchens and their garden. Those who know about her just think of her as the dull mute girl who may be a little soft in the head, not knowing that she carries within herself a precious gift: the ability to see the future. This is a gift she keeps secret, though, for fear of persecution.

However, a vision prompts her to prevent a murder, shoving her not only into the intrigues and gilded life of the nobility, but also into a civil war brewing in her country. As events unfold, and she is drawn deeper into the conflict, she meets an old friend, makes a new one, and begins to unearth secrets better left buried.

Driven to learn the truth about the war, and about her friends, Clara embarks on a journey that takes her from her beloved mountains to the very Capital itself, Bertrand, where she is confronted by an evil both ancient and twisted. The only problem is, her own anger and prejudices are the catalysts her enemy needs to complete its plans. If she is not careful, not only will the entire nation be lost, but her own soul as well.


Mama didn't move or make a sound until the noise of so many horses faded into the distance.
“Clara,” she screeched.  “Come out here!”
Clara scurried out of the cottage to stand beside her mother.  “Mama, what are we going--”
“Never mind that now.”  She was pale and shaking and Clara almost reached out to hug her.  “Here.  Help me with the wash.”
Silence fell between them as Clara handed Mama clothing from the basket for her to hang.  As Mama secured the third shirt on the line, her hands stilled, and a chill swept down Clara's back.  Recognizing the sign, she scrunched her eyes against it, hunching her shoulders, but the dream fell upon her like a wave.
She stood at the end of a long, long line, shuffling down a dusty road.  Her feet ached and her ankles throbbed as something chafed against them.  A chain connected her hands to a boy in front of her.  The boy fell, suddenly, dragging Clara down with her and nearly pulling down the person in front of them.  A man in chain-mail and leathers rode up on a large horse, raising a cane and screaming.  Clara was crying but no sound came from her throat.
Gasping, she jerked into the present.  Mama stared down at her.
“What ails you, child?”  She looked almost concerned.
Clara shook her head as the tremors passed through her.  The waking dreams had never been that strong before.
“I want you to run another errand for me.  Go find Haggard and tell him to come here straight away.  Do you understand?”
She swallowed.  “Aye, Mama.  After I get him, may I go play?”
Lorna glared at her for a moment before her mouth and eyes softened a little.  “All right.  But Haggard might come get you later.  Be home before dark if he don't.”
“Yes, Mama.”

Author Bio

Suzanna Linton was born in South Carolina and grew up in Orangeburg County. In 2002, she attended the summer program in fiction and poetry for the SC Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities. After graduating high school, she went on to Francis Marion University, where she majored in English. In 2013, she received Honorable Mention in the Sidney Lanier Poetry Award Competition.

When she's not writing or working at the local library, Suzanna can be found either reading or gardening. She also loves to watch movies and television series. Right now, she's nose deep in The Walking Dead, White Collar, and Star Trek. 

She lives with her husband and their two dogs, Benedict and Scholastica, in Florence, SC.


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