About the Book
Title: World of Shadows
Series: Once Upon A Dream, 1
Author: Emily Rachelle
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy/Fairytale Retelling
Publisher: Red Geraniums Press
Publication Date: December 11, 2016
In this urban fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, modern-day teenager Beila Durand is plagued by nightmares that lead her to discover - and wind up trapped in - a cursed underground world. The invisible people that live in this medieval village depend on Beila learning the truth behind their curse - and why she is the only one who can set them free.
In her quest for answers, however, all she seems to find are more questions. Where do the echoing screeching at night originate? Who is the isolated man that speaks with Beila from the shadows of his cloak? What does this New York girl have to do with any of it? And will she ever find a way back home?
Guest Post: What's In A Dream?
For one night in 2012, I was a queen.
It was the longest dream I'd ever had. According to the clock, I lived in my alternate reality for roughly eight hours. According to me, it lasted years. When I woke up I felt like the Pevensies at the end of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe when they stumbled back through the wardrobe to discover they were still children and barely any time passed at all.
In my alternate reality, I was still me, a normal sixteen-year-old girl. I was running through the woods at night. It was dark, and I was alone, but I wasn't scared. I was just running. I still don't know why. My foot caught on a tree root. I tripped. I do that a lot. What I don't do a lot is fall straight through the ground to a dimly-lit room made entirely of dirt.
There were no invisible people in my dirt dream world; I could easily see the woman who helped me up and introduced me to her people. There was a whole village of friendly, if slightly dirty, people living here underground. They never left the tunnels, but they didn't care. They lived happy lives. Except for one thing...
With these people lived a monster. A griffin. This creature thrashed and howled violently, totally senseless. It made the only mark on their perfect country-style lives.
My story went a different direction than Beila's. When I approached the monster, it calmed down completely. I remember looking into its liquid golden eyes and feeling something strong for this creature.
As long as I was around, the griffin was completely tame; in fact, he could walk on his hind legs and speak like a man. I rapidly fell in love with the talking griffin and married him, ensuring that the peace only I could bring him and his people would last forever. (I definitely had it easier than Beila. I don't envy her situation.)
We all lived quite happily for years in this underground world. I became the people's queen, and my husband the griffin their king. One day I randomly remembered my life before the tunnels. Some of the people expressed longing and interest in going to the surface I'd told them about. Unlike Beila and the village in her story, we weren't trapped at all; we'd just never wanted to leave until now. So I led everyone to the surface for a visit. We walked around in the woods a bit, intending to return home to our tunnels soon. Then I woke up.
That dream stuck with me. The thought of being in love with a talking animal disturbed me once I returned to the logic of the waking world. But that village in the tunnels still called to me. I vividly remembered the friends I'd made, the people I had brought peace and prosperity to as queen. I wrote out most of my dream as it was, hoping to make a more sensible story out of it later.
Beila's story is clearly very different from mine, and not nearly as peaceful. I never had the chance to meet the cloaked man in my own dreams. But her dream world with the village depending on her is a place I love revisiting every time I step into her story.
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About the Author
I'm a self-published author (because being a college student wasn't hard enough!) and spend most of my time doing homework. I write YA multi-genre fiction for young adults or the young at heart. I love NCIS, BBC's Sherlock,
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