Thursday, May 30, 2013

Teaser Thursday: Of Triton (Of Poseidon Series, #2) by Anna Banks

Of Triton (Of Poseidon Series, #2)

Author: Anna Banks

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Synopsis: In this sequel to OF POSEIDON, Emma has just learned that her mother is a long-lost Poseidon princess, and now struggles with an identity crisis: As a Half-Breed, she’s a freak in the human world and an abomination in the Syrena realm below. Syrena law states that all Half- Breeds should be put to death.

As if that’s not bad enough, her mother’s reappearance among the Syrena turns the two kingdoms—Poseidon and Triton—against one another. Which leaves Emma with a decision to make: Should she comply with Galen’s request to keep herself safe and just hope for the best? Or should she risk it all and reveal herself—and her Gift—to save a people she’s never known?

Sneak Peek

The scenes from the previous night replay in my head, a collection of snapshots my memory took between heartbeats:


Galen reaching his hands in the dishwater. "You've got a lot of explaining to do, Nalia."


A flash of Galen grabbing Mom's sudsy wrist.


An image of Mom growling as Galen turns her around in his arms.


A still life of Mom flinging her head back, making contact with Galen's forehead.


A shot of Galen slamming into the fridge, scattering a lifetime's motley collection of magnets onto the floor.


Beat, beat, beat.

The still shots become live action.

Mom attaches to him like static cling, the knife poised midair, ready to fillet him like a cod. I scream. Something big and important sounding shatters behind me. The sound of raining glass drowns me out.

And it's that one second that Galen needs. Distracted Mom turns her head, giving Galen a breadth of space to dodge the blade. Instead of his flesh, she stabs the blade into the fridge. The knife slips from her soapy hands and clinks to the floor.

Beat . . . Beat.

We all watch it spin, as if what happens next depends on which direction it stops. As if the blade will choose who will make the next move. It feels like an intermission from delirium, a chance for sanity to sneak in and take hold. Ha.

Toraf passes me in a blur, buts of what used to be our bay window sparkling in his hair like sequins. And just like that, sanity retreats like a spooked bird. Toraf tackles my mother and they sprawl onto the linoleum in a sickening melody of wet squeaking and soft grunting. Galen kicks the knife into the hallway then belly flops onto them. The tornadic bundle of legs and arms and feet and hands push farther into the kitchen until only the occasional flailing limb is visible from the living room, where I can't believe I'm still standing.

A spectator in my own life, I watch the supernova of my two worlds colliding: Mom and Galen. Human and Syrena. Poseidon and Triton. But what can I do? Who should I help? Mom, who lied to me for eighteen years, then tried to shank my boyfriend? Galen, who forgot this little thing called "tact" when he accused my mom of being a runaway fish-princess? Toraf, who . . . what the heck is Toraf doing, anyway? And did he really just sack my mom like an opposing quarterback?

The urgency level for a quick decision elevates to right-freaking-now. I decide that screaming is still best for everyone--it's nonviolent, distracting, and one of things I've very, very good at.

I open my mouth, but Rayna beats me to it--only, her scream is much more valuable than mine would have been, because she includes words with it. "Stop it right now, or I'll kill you all!" She pushes past me with a decrepit, rusty harpoon from God-knows-what century, probably pillaged from one of her shipwreck excursions. She waves it at the three of them like a crazed fisherman in a Jaws movie. I hope they don't notice she's got it pointed backwards and that if she fires it, she'll skewer our couch and Grandma's first attempt at quilting.

It works. The bare feet and tennis shoes stop scuffling--out of fear or shock, I'm not sure--and Toraf's head appears at the top of the counter. "Princess," he says, breathless. "I told you to stay outside."

"Emma, run!" Mom yells.

Toraf disappears again, followed by a symphony of scraping and knocking and thumping and cussing.

Rayna rolls her eyes at me, grumbling to herself as she stops into the kitchen. She adjusts the harpoon to a more deadly position  scrapping the popcorn ceiling and sending rust and Sheetrock and tetanus floating onto the floor like dirty snow. Aiming it at the mound of struggling limbs, she says, "One of you is about to die, and right now I don't really care who it is."

Thank God for Rayna. People like Rayna get things done. People like me watch people like Rayna get things done. Then people like me round the corner of the counter as if they helped, as if they didn't stand there and let everyone they love beat the shizzle out of one another.

I peer down at the three of them all tangled up. Crossing my arms, I try to mimic Rayna's impressive rage, but I'm pretty sure my face is only capable of what-the-crap-was-that.

Mom looks up at me, nostrils flaring like moth wings. "Emma, I told you to run," she grinds out before elbowing Toraf in the mouth so hard I think he might swallow a tooth. Then she kicks Galen in the ribs.

He groans, but catches her foot before she can re-up. Toraf spits blood on the linoleum beside him and grabs Mom's arms. She writhes and wiggles, bristling like a trapped badger and cussing like a sailor on crack.

Mom has never been girlie.

Finally she stops, her arms and legs slumping to the floor in defeat. Tears puddle in her eyes. "Let her go," she sobs. "She's got nothing to do with this. She doesn't even know about us. Take me and leave her out of this. I'll do anything."

Which reinforces, right here and now, that my mom is Nalia. Nalia is my mom. Also, holy crap. (Chapter 3)

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