Book Jacket

 

rank 5908
word count 91794
date submitted 19.05.2011
date updated 11.07.2012
genres: Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Young Ad...
classification: moderate
complete

The Heir of Hunde

S. W.

Bly endured childhood only to be visiting Kathy in jail, again. No future, no prospects until the accident. Her new home isn't what it seems.

 

She has been the only adult in her house since she was ten years old. Now, with Bly on the heels of graduation, her mother is in prison. As money runs out, she is forced to abandon her home in Florida and move to an obscure town in Oklahoma. There, she learns to live with a grandmother she barely knows. But on the way something horrible happens. She is rescued by a bearded, blue-eyed man who becomes her unwilling protector in a small town that's anything but safe.

Having abandoned her Arapaho heritage, she comes face to face with ancient myths and modern day monsters, reducing her life into one big chase. She finds love along the way, but not the sort to write home about. She is caught between loving the man she knows is dangerous and trusting the man she thinks isn't.

NOTE: This book is complete at 93,000 words. It is also available in a self-published Kindle version at Amazon and in paperback at www.createspace.com. Already working on a sequel!

 
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tags

arapaho, fantasy, germany, legend, monster, myth, native american, paranormal, romance, teen, werewolves

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Book One: Chapter One

Chapter One

The bus lurched to the right, but still managed to hit whatever obstruction the driver was attempting to dodge. Like Bly’s life in general, jumping out of the way of one disaster only meant careening into another. The jerking motion startled her from drowsiness. She hated sleeping in transit. Her controlling personality simply would not allow her to relax. In fact, Bly would rather drive the forty-five foot Greyhound herself than be scrunched in with all the other passengers.

The frustrating thing was she would have been driving her very own beat-up, Chevy Cavalier had it not been recently impounded. A lot of things got ruined the last time her mother was caught driving drunk. One of those things was Bly’s ability to drive where she pleased. She squeezed her eyes shut at the thought of her mother in prison. The bus jerked toward the shoulder of the road again, pulling Bly from the unpleasant recollection. Not long after her detainment at Belleview, her mother was transferred to Lowell Correctional Facility for Women in Ocala where she would stay a good, long while. Not only was she in need of rehabilitation, but she would be required to complete a nine month work program.

            It was well deserved, but something inside Bly wanted to protect her mother, addict or not. Protector, care giver, grown-up, these had been Bly’s expected roles ever since she could tie her shoes. Like the time she had to ward off the creep with gorilla shoulders. Kathy, as she disrespectfully referred to her mother, had come home drunk with hairy creep in tow. Eight years old at the time, Bly found him undressing her unconscious mother on the kitchen floor. So, she gave him a frying pan across the back of his greasy head with both little arms swinging.

            Bly shifted in the badly upholstered seat then stared out into the ink black night. Catching a glimpse of her reflection in the window, she scrutinized the face staring back. Brown eyes rich as mahogany, wide and alert blinked in the glass. Hip-length black hair hung in a smooth, glossy sheath behind her narrow shoulders. She hadn’t pulled a brush through it in hours, yet it was free of tangles and straight as an arrow. For the millionth time she bemoaned how much she resembled Kathy.

            Of course, Bly in no way behaved like her mother, and her grandmother Nana-Nita once said, “Pretty is as pretty does not” in reference to Kathy’s poor example, though it was little consolation. As she pondered the Reed family’s high cheekbones and wide Arapaho forehead, she couldn’t shake the feeling that she’d made no more progress than someone running in place. She continued to stare out the window with little enthusiasm about her final destination of Velma, Oklahoma and even less about the future. Too bad there wasn’t a mysteriously handsome, independently wealthy boyfriend waiting at the last stop.

A few orange colored street lamps loomed above the empty roadway like tangerine sentinels as the bus approached its next stop. Tifton, Georgia wasn’t very impressive at one in the morning, but it offered an opportunity to stretch. Her predominant thought as she made her way through the aisle was how she’d love the extra cash for airfare. Then she could have avoided this annoying tour of every podunk town between Ocala and Lawton.

“Young lady,” the driver called when she reached the bottom step. “This is only a twenty minute stop so don’t go far.” Bly nodded and stepped down.

            If she were the typical, rebellious teenager she might have replied, “Who are you, my mother?” But sentiments like that never entered her mind. Kathy rarely acted like an adult let alone like a mother, and she would never think to lecture Bly on time management or any other subject. Bly passed back and forth on the sidewalk letting her legs untangle. Two and a half hours cramped inside a narrow window seat wasn’t easy for a tall girl, or an impatient one.

The sleek, grey logo dominating the length of the bus caught her attention. Bly admired the hound’s shiny silhouette gracing the area immediately below the passenger windows. It hung suspended, frozen midstride, above three horizontal blue stripes. She ran her hand over the metallic image.

The racing dog was such a common motif most people ignored it. Looking at it now, the image communicated a certain degree of freedom, something of which Bly felt in short supply. Perhaps she was over thinking the whole thing, but to her, the dog represented escape. Presently, she had escaped an unstable childhood and a parent too intoxicated to know what day of the week it was. But when Bly considered what she might be running toward, the answer was uninspiring.

            Her maternal grandmother lived in the township of Velma in a teensy, one-bedroom house nestled against Wildhorse Creek.  Technically that was what she was running toward. Kathy had suggested Bly hang out in Oklahoma until her release from Lowell. Though Bly didn’t relish the idea of relocating, she definitely did not want to languish in Moss Bluff all alone with virtually no money.

“Let’s go, Miss,” the driver said sticking his head out the door.

“Yes sir.”

Bly wiped her dusty fingers on her jeans; the metal greyhound needed grooming. She boarded the bus then folded herself into a human pretzel once again and prepared for the twenty hours of travel to come.

            Somewhere between Fort Worth and Wichita, Bly reached her limit of sitting still. Her butt hurt, she was freezing, and above all, she was sick of riding. She was beginning to believe someone had picked up the state of Oklahoma and moved it farther west, or perhaps dropped it into the Pacific Ocean as a practical joke. It felt like she’d be on the stupid dog bus forever.

Bored, she peered around the interior checking out the other passengers. Everyone slept except her and the driver. It was the wee hours of morning, and still quite dark. A hint of warmth developed on the horizon behind them, but the rest of the barren roadside remained bathed in black, vague shapes blurring past as they travelled.

            Without warning, the bus heaved sharply to the right throwing Bly off balance. Most of her fellow travelers continued sleeping undisturbed. Only a few rustled in their seats, one snorting loudly before resuming a loud, rhythmic snore. The driver glanced briefly in the rear view mirror. As their eyes met, something huge collided with the side of the bus.

All at once, the windows opposite her row shattered. She clung to the seat in panic, gravity dragging her body toward the floor. Other people screamed and dove under seats, covering their heads.

            Bly pulled herself back up. She struggled to get a good look over the tops of the seats when the bus was hit again. This time the blow came from the rear and the cumbersome vehicle careened out of control. Tires squealed in protest mingling with the shrill cries of passengers.

The view inside was chaotic. Bodies flew sideways, luggage spilled from the overhead compartments, and glass continually shot through the air. Outside the view was not much better. Bly glanced through broken windows only to see undefined swirls, fast moving black shapes, a muted sky and rising pavement. 

She was thrown against her window by an obese woman flailing around in the aisle. Bly pressed both palms against the pane to prevent her forehead from smashing into it.

            As she studied her own frightened expression reflected in the glass, she caught a glimpse of something large and shadowy outside. It was still too dark to see details, and the bus was not steady enough for her to focus on the blackened shape.

She tumbled forward violently as the vehicle endured a third hit, again from the rear. Bly hinged over the seat in front of her like a rag doll. This would not have been a problem if another passenger were not already occupying the space. Her forehead pitched downward until it smashed into the head of a huge, balding man shouting obscenities in Spanish.

            The last thing Bly remembered before the world faded to nothingness was a fresh wave of screaming. Blood curdling shouts erupted inside the bus, as if on cue, and very different from the general mayhem that already ensued. Before she passed into unconsciousness, she wondered what evoked such a response.

Chapters

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laxmi wrote 981 days ago

Hi
your writing drew me in. Subtle touch yet lots happening. Like the easy way the story unfolds and how the characters meet; enjoyed the sense of subtle romance in the opening chapters.
Laxmi

Jacoba wrote 1055 days ago

Hi,
This is a well written piece.
You have a talent for keeping the pace moving and ensuring the reader has a vivid picture of each scene and each character.
To be taken from an horrific accident without knowing how you ended up in a restaurant would be disconcerting indeed. The saving grace being the handsome rescuer, of course.
You laid the path for the intrigue right from the get go and the first two chapters have enough hooks to keep the reader interest. I'm betting the bearded hero is kin to some kind of mythical creature or werewolf.
I see you have written quite a few books and intend on writing a sequel to this. As far as I can see, you have a gripping story here that should do well for your intended market.
Star rated and Watchlisted for now,
Cheers Jacoba

tricia_d wrote 1052 days ago

This is an incredibly well-written book. At first, it was hard to connect with Bly. Her difficult upbringing has inhibited her ability to trust, and as befitting her character, insights into her personality are doled out just a little at a time. And, so are secrets. Subtle clues are weaved in effortlessly: grandma's cryptic warnings, the paw print, the claw-like scar on the bar patron and on Adolfo himself, the way everyone in town reacts to Adolfo. I found it intriguing that each secondary character in the story reacts to Adolfo differently: the waitress is hot for him, Bly's grandmother fears him, the deputies bow to his authority. Regardless, there is an aura of mystery surrounding Adolfo. The circumstances surrounding the bus accident are suspicious in a myriad of ways, and Bly seems to be the only one questioning it. As a matter of fact, Bly seems to be the only one who truly stands up to Adolfo. At first, I had the impression that Adolfo was a great deal older than Bly, and I couldn't imagine him as a love interest, but as the tension between them increases, I can feel the chemistry. Overall, this is wonderful read- one which keeps the reader turning the pages until the very end. Thank you for sharing your work. Six stars for sure.

LindseyW32 wrote 646 days ago

I have only read the first couple chapters of The Heir of Hunde, but I can say that I am already deeply involved! I love the way you describe the events as they unfold, slowing them down almost with the descriptions for better clarity for the reader. I am relishing to know what happens to Bly in the coming chapters! I will keep reading!

Lindsey

Ditzydana wrote 798 days ago

I'm not sure why, but I had a really hard time staying focused on this one. This doesn't necessarily reflect on the writing and may even be because I am exhausted, but I thought I'd mention it. Some writing flow can be edited, but all in all, I like the concept of the book and may buy it on amazon. I look forward to seeing book #2.

OpheliaWrites wrote 981 days ago

Hi
your writing drew me in. Subtle touch yet lots happening. Like the easy way the story unfolds and how the characters meet; enjoyed the sense of subtle romance in the opening chapters.
Laxmi


Thanks so much!

laxmi wrote 981 days ago

Hi
your writing drew me in. Subtle touch yet lots happening. Like the easy way the story unfolds and how the characters meet; enjoyed the sense of subtle romance in the opening chapters.
Laxmi

OpheliaWrites wrote 1013 days ago

Kia Ora Sheri,

Thought I'd return the favour and offer a critique.
First of all the good and the great:
LOVE:
Your imagery and choice of similes. You describe the scenes inside and out of the bus and movement really efficiently and evocatively -it creates the tension of the chapter.
Best line: A few orange coloured streetlamps......... This was beautifully described and made me linger and savour the words.
I love the paragraph about running the finger over the logo of the greyhound -it hints at her feelings and you don't need to explain it in the next paragraph - allow some space for the reader to fill in the gaps or use the greyhound as an image -eg. maybe she sees it loping beside the bus before she goes to sleep -hint -don't explain.

Could Improve:
I feel that you tend to overexplain or 'tell' the emotions and feelings of the character so the first few paragraphs come off as a bit wordy. Try using sparer language and let the movements or images show the emotions.
eg. She stared through the window with absolutely no enthusiasm about her destination Velma, Oklahoma and even less about her future.
Maybe: She stared blankly out the window, as the bus rolled through the darkness towards her future in Velma, Oklahoma.

You tend to overuse the participle clause sentence structure when setting up in first few paragraphs -it causes a bit of a strain if it gets repetitive:
eg. "Shifting on her thin seat cushion, she....
"Fresh out of high school, she....
Overall I think this has real potential as the plot is strong and you have a real talent for describing locale and action - just need a few tweaks :)

Hope this helps,

Best
Kaal







Question:
Should it be 'snicker' or 'snigger' ?



Thanks for the in-depth feedback. I admit, grammar is my weakness (and I mean weakness as in I can't manage it well). I appreciate the ideas and will make changes. The timing is great right now anyway because the first fifty pages of the manuscript are currently being perused by Talcott-Notch. Hopefully something will come of it!

OpheliaWrites wrote 1013 days ago

Good voice in "Was it to prevent her hair from sticking to the loads of mascara framing her large, bird-like eyes." Maybe mountains or mounds instead of loads? Sounds a little more dramatic like a teenager. Also, "She had one volume--wake the dead loud." Love it.

Love the figurative language, "with the force of a derailed train."

You write dialogue well. It has a very natural flow to it. You also did a good job of building the characters in this chapter. Nicely done.

Suggestions: I would reword the sentence "Eyelids too heavy to push open." It's a fragment and didn't read right. Some of your dialogue tags don't work for me (i.e she proclaimed). I'm in the group that says stick to said. But I know that's personal preference. There's a subtle tension in this chapter, but I wonder if you could heighten it by making Bly a bit more suspicious of Adolfo and Mary Jo. Just a thought. It would grip your reader a bit better.

Minor typos: Missing a quotation mark after The last thing I remember was the bus and... I'd move "A gruff voice called from the next room" to the next paragraph, since it isn't the woman's voice.

Chapter two was excellent. Good work!



Thanks Joshua! I am back in the country and plan to resume storytime with my kiddos. Critiques should be up soon!

Joshua Jacobs wrote 1027 days ago

Good voice in "Was it to prevent her hair from sticking to the loads of mascara framing her large, bird-like eyes." Maybe mountains or mounds instead of loads? Sounds a little more dramatic like a teenager. Also, "She had one volume--wake the dead loud." Love it.

Love the figurative language, "with the force of a derailed train."

You write dialogue well. It has a very natural flow to it. You also did a good job of building the characters in this chapter. Nicely done.

Suggestions: I would reword the sentence "Eyelids too heavy to push open." It's a fragment and didn't read right. Some of your dialogue tags don't work for me (i.e she proclaimed). I'm in the group that says stick to said. But I know that's personal preference. There's a subtle tension in this chapter, but I wonder if you could heighten it by making Bly a bit more suspicious of Adolfo and Mary Jo. Just a thought. It would grip your reader a bit better.

Minor typos: Missing a quotation mark after The last thing I remember was the bus and... I'd move "A gruff voice called from the next room" to the next paragraph, since it isn't the woman's voice.

Chapter two was excellent. Good work!

MIRO1K wrote 1032 days ago

Kia Ora Sheri,

Thought I'd return the favour and offer a critique.
First of all the good and the great:
LOVE:
Your imagery and choice of similes. You describe the scenes inside and out of the bus and movement really efficiently and evocatively -it creates the tension of the chapter.
Best line: A few orange coloured streetlamps......... This was beautifully described and made me linger and savour the words.
I love the paragraph about running the finger over the logo of the greyhound -it hints at her feelings and you don't need to explain it in the next paragraph - allow some space for the reader to fill in the gaps or use the greyhound as an image -eg. maybe she sees it loping beside the bus before she goes to sleep -hint -don't explain.

Could Improve:
I feel that you tend to overexplain or 'tell' the emotions and feelings of the character so the first few paragraphs come off as a bit wordy. Try using sparer language and let the movements or images show the emotions.
eg. She stared through the window with absolutely no enthusiasm about her destination Velma, Oklahoma and even less about her future.
Maybe: She stared blankly out the window, as the bus rolled through the darkness towards her future in Velma, Oklahoma.

You tend to overuse the participle clause sentence structure when setting up in first few paragraphs -it causes a bit of a strain if it gets repetitive:
eg. "Shifting on her thin seat cushion, she....
"Fresh out of high school, she....
Overall I think this has real potential as the plot is strong and you have a real talent for describing locale and action - just need a few tweaks :)

Hope this helps,

Best
Kaal







Question:
Should it be 'snicker' or 'snigger' ?

OpheliaWrites wrote 1037 days ago

Thanks for backing THE HEIR. How far along are you?

Hi,
This is a well written piece.
You have a talent for keeping the pace moving and ensuring the reader has a vivid picture of each scene and each character.
To be taken from an horrific accident without knowing how you ended up in a restaurant would be disconcerting indeed. The saving grace being the handsome rescuer, of course.
You laid the path for the intrigue right from the get go and the first two chapters have enough hooks to keep the reader interest. I'm betting the bearded hero is kin to some kind of mythical creature or werewolf.
I see you have written quite a few books and intend on writing a sequel to this. As far as I can see, you have a gripping story here that should do well for your intended market.
Star rated and Watchlisted for now,
Cheers Jacoba

Joshua Jacobs wrote 1039 days ago

There is some outstanding characterization in this opening chapter. We're put right into Bly's mind. She has personality, opinions, and goals, and you do an excellent job of depicting who she is. By the end of the chapter, I could write you an essay on her character. I am very impressed with how well you know her. There's also a nice subtle humor that comes with her personality (i.e. ...pulled his license out of a cracker-jack box) and I love Nana Nita's advice. Even without meeting her, I know her character as well. You have a gift for character development. Did you know that?

I was impressed with the opening scene in this. I'm not usually a fan of books that begin with little conflict, but you're an excellent writer and have done a solid job painting an internal conflict that hooked me anyway. Besides, the action at the end of the chapter came pretty quickly, and any reader who may not have been hooked, I'm sure was after what happened on the bus.

I love the detail of your descriptions. In such a simple description of the greyhound on the side of the bus, you had me enthralled with your word choice and sentence construction. I'm impressed. In fact, throughout this entire first chapter, the writing was better than most I've come across on this site.

Suggestions: There's a little bit of a disconnect between the first and second sentence in the opening chapter. When I first read this, I thought Bly Reed was her mom since she was the one who lost the ability "to drive." I think this could cleared up for the reader. I know it's difficult to work in a character description, but her staring at her reflection has become cliché and is frowned upon in the publishing world. I'd find a different way to work it in. In fact, you have the opportunity to do just that when the little girl compares her to the princess in the book. "Screams grew quiet" gives me a conflicting image. Why not just "Screams quieted?" I wouldn't say "before passing into unconsciousness" because you tell the reader the ending of the chapter without letting them get to it. I'd rewrite that or cut it.

Minor typo: "She was began to think..." "Blood-curdling" instead of "blood curdling."

In the end, I felt like this was one of the strongest beginnings for a young adult novel on this site. I can see why this did well in ABNA this year. I'm going to keep this on my watch list and hopefully find the time to keep reading because I love what I've read so far. Great work!

Red2u wrote 1041 days ago

Not to repeat what has already been said but I love the cover! I read the first 2 chapters and can only say it is well written. I too question why Bly was not taken away to the hospital. I rated the book well and plan on returning for a further read. Good luck with your book.
Red

Kari2010 wrote 1046 days ago

The Heir of Hunde by Sheri Webber

First off, your cover is really effective, its what drew me to reading the text. Quite disturbing that eye ...
Chapter one starts off with Bly making a trip out to her maternal mother's home in Oklahoma. Her mother is currently incarcerated. The chapter takes time in describing this journey. The reader is alert as to the fact Bly notices the incompetence of the driver. Then very unexpectedly the grayhound bus is involved in an accident. Something is hitting the bus but we don't know what. The accident scene is described deftly. We discover that she survives the crash and is picked up from the scene and brought to a restaurant. That was quite a twist, as like she said, why wouldn't they have rushed her to a hospital. Makes the reader wonder what Adolfo is up to.

On a sentence level, what I read was quite polished. You have a wonderful way with descriptions and like I already pointed out you succeeded in transporting the reader through the the journey. The reader also gets a good sense of how horrific the accident is.

Small correction: Chapter 2
Adolfo stood with arms crossed watching a yellow ambulance (pull NOT pulled) away from the window.

I like these --
... folded herself into a human pretzel
... loomed above the empty roadway like tangerine sentinels

I really like the way this story is shaping up. Would read more time permitting. Highly starred for now and I do wish you the best with this.
Cheers, Kari

sweet honey wrote 1047 days ago

I really enjoyed the first chapter, especially the accident scene. Worthy to be published I say.

monicque wrote 1048 days ago

Great job. I read through the first chapter and very much enjoyed it. Highly rated. Good hook for the 2nd chap, i will read on.. :)

tricia_d wrote 1052 days ago

This is an incredibly well-written book. At first, it was hard to connect with Bly. Her difficult upbringing has inhibited her ability to trust, and as befitting her character, insights into her personality are doled out just a little at a time. And, so are secrets. Subtle clues are weaved in effortlessly: grandma's cryptic warnings, the paw print, the claw-like scar on the bar patron and on Adolfo himself, the way everyone in town reacts to Adolfo. I found it intriguing that each secondary character in the story reacts to Adolfo differently: the waitress is hot for him, Bly's grandmother fears him, the deputies bow to his authority. Regardless, there is an aura of mystery surrounding Adolfo. The circumstances surrounding the bus accident are suspicious in a myriad of ways, and Bly seems to be the only one questioning it. As a matter of fact, Bly seems to be the only one who truly stands up to Adolfo. At first, I had the impression that Adolfo was a great deal older than Bly, and I couldn't imagine him as a love interest, but as the tension between them increases, I can feel the chemistry. Overall, this is wonderful read- one which keeps the reader turning the pages until the very end. Thank you for sharing your work. Six stars for sure.

Jacoba wrote 1055 days ago

Hi,
This is a well written piece.
You have a talent for keeping the pace moving and ensuring the reader has a vivid picture of each scene and each character.
To be taken from an horrific accident without knowing how you ended up in a restaurant would be disconcerting indeed. The saving grace being the handsome rescuer, of course.
You laid the path for the intrigue right from the get go and the first two chapters have enough hooks to keep the reader interest. I'm betting the bearded hero is kin to some kind of mythical creature or werewolf.
I see you have written quite a few books and intend on writing a sequel to this. As far as I can see, you have a gripping story here that should do well for your intended market.
Star rated and Watchlisted for now,
Cheers Jacoba

Su Dan wrote 1060 days ago

original and well told; you set it out well and give us a good, tramatic opening- 6 stars and on my watchlist...
read SEASONS...

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