This might seem a bit of a strange book to feature on my site, focussing as I do so much on the darker side of life but there is a special reason for this one. I am part of a beta-reading group and I was privileged to be involved in the development of this particular book. I read it very much in the role of my real life job of school librarian and the teen/YA audience I have, but regardless of that, the story just sucked me in anyway. With me, it is always the storytelling that will carry a book and I wish this one every success.
Ink Dreams by Emmy Z. Madrigal
Teen life sure sucks when you’re half-octopus.
Living on land with her mortal mother seems safe for octo-gal Tealy McKracken until she comes of age and inks herself in front of the town’s mean girl. It doesn’t help that her childhood crush is dating the annoying fashionista werewolf. Disturbing dreams of singing sea creatures aren’t helping.
Can Tealy possibly control her inking, stay away from an evil vampire witch, and win the heart of the vampire prince? Find out in this tentacled love story.
An excerpt from Ink Dreams:
Tealy’s dream took on a darker element than it had in the past. She still saw the jungle of seaweed swaying, the rocks and the corral, but the jellyfish were gone. In fact, she could neither see nor sense any sea life at all. As she swam through a dark cavern, a chanting came to her. A low humming like that of her mother’s sewing machine from the other room.
Come child, the sea song said. Come home to the sea.
She blinked, thinking perhaps her eyes were closed, but they were open and yet, she could see nothing, not even shadows. A large green eye appeared, glossy and intelligent, staring at her from a massive, green, tentacled body. She took a deep breath, tried to swim backwards, but she couldn’t breathe. Water filled her human lungs and her gills didn’t work. She coughed, grasping her gills, feeling an oily substance cover her fingertips.
Tealy woke in her room, coughing. She sat up, covering her mouth and coming away with a sticky, slippery substance. Switching on the light, she found something like dark purple oil on her hand. She coughed again and more came out, as well as some from her gills, running down her neck. She reached for a tissue on the nightstand, but the tissue could not withstand the inky substance and turned into a bigger mess.
“Mum!” she screamed as well as she could with ink gurgling in her throat.
“What is it?” Elizabeth ran into the room. “Good heavens!” She went back into the hall and returned with a few towels.
“What’s happening to me? What is this?” Tealy took one of the towels and wiped off her hands as her mother cleaned up her neck, taking extra care around her gills.
“Oh honey, I’m afraid it’s all a part of becoming an adult. I wish your father were here to explain.”
“You mean this is normal for…for my kind?”
“Great. My period isn’t enough? I have to bleed through my mouth, too?” Tealy’s memory flashed back two years when she’d woke in the middle of the night with purple blood stains on her sheets.
“It isn’t blood, dear. It’s ink.”
“Your father told me that when you live in the water, it’s a necessity. It’s a protection mechanism that can blind and damage other water inhabitants.”
“Why did it happen now?”
“You must’ve had a nightmare. Do you want to talk about it?”
“It’s hard to explain. There was a big green eye…I don’t remember much else.”
“I’m sorry, honey.” Elizabeth hugged her daughter, rubbing her back. “I wish I was more help, but I may have something that will help.” Her mother took the two soiled towels from Tealy and left her with the last clean one as she went into the hall. A few minutes later she came back with a small leather book attached to a leather, braided cord. She placed it on Tealy’s lap and put a piece of parchment folded in threes and sealed with a purple wax seal on top. “Your father gave me this book when you were born, and he gave me the letter before his last mission.”
To read more of Ink Dreams, or to hear the audiobook, go to Amazon.com
Book trailer embed link: https://youtu.be/hxpzKgirAJY
Author link: http://emmyzmadrigal.com/