In The Beginning…

Hi.

I am currently in the middle of publishing a new serialised, young adult fantasy story!  “Sapphire Smyth & The Shadow Five” is being released in six instalments, and the first TWO PARTS are OUT NOW!  As such, I’ve decided to share some of this story with you.

Over the next few days, I will be publishing the first “Sapphire Smyth” instalment a chapter at a time – right here on my blog!  And I’m going to start TODAY.  Below, you will find the ‘Prologue’ for Part One of “Sapphire Smyth & The Shadow Five”.  I do hope you enjoy the story, and I’d love it if we could chat more in the comments.

Happy reading…

Shadows Kindle

PROLOGUE

Jason couldn’t remember waking without Michelle beside him. He was certain that it had never happened before. But for some reason, she wasn’t there.
To begin with, Jason suspected someone had woken him. When his eyelids parted, he glanced at the window beside his bed. Darkness stared back at him — it wasn’t morning. With a soft grunt, Jason rolled under his duvet and wondered why he was awake. That was the moment when he realised that Michelle was missing. It didn’t matter how much his fingers fumbled with the soft sheets, there was no doubt that she wasn’t there.
Dazed, Jason sat upright and dragged both his hands through his dark, fuzzy hair to shift it from his face. Then, through blurry eyes, he became aware of an odd glimmer of light in the corner. Well, he thought he did. Whatever it was, it faded in an instant. Jason could only assume he’d dreamt it, even though he felt like someone was in the room with him. When he studied the room, Jason noticed that the door was shut tight too. The door was never closed. Michelle always left it open so they could hear their daughter, Sapphire, if she needed them. Something was wrong. There was a reason Michelle wasn’t in bed, and Jason had an uneasy feeling that he couldn’t explain.
Panic churned in Jason’s stomach. He shifted from the bed and threw on an old grey t-shirt which in no way matched the joggers he was wearing. When he reached for the door handle, a shudder raced through him. Without question, there was something wrong. With a sharp tug, Jason opened the bedroom door and faced the staircase ahead of him. All his senses were on high alert. In many ways, he didn’t have any reason to think that things weren’t right. After all, everywhere was calm and quiet. But that was the problem: it was too calm and too quiet. With his heart attempting to break out of his chest, Jason turned and made his way to Sapphire’s bedroom.
After narrowing his eyes, Jason breathed a little relief as he peeked into the nursery. Sapphire was there, tucked in her blankets in the middle of her cot. She was safe, although Jason was still tense. He needed to find Michelle, so he backed away from Sapphire’s room and headed for the stairs.
‘Michelle,’ he called out, as his foot dropped onto the first step. ‘Chelle. What’s going on? Where are you?’
There was no reply, and the overwhelming silence concerned Jason more. Not even Sapphire stirred. Clenching the banister, Jason staggered further down the stairs. With each cautious step, he continued to call his wife while trying to not wake their daughter.
‘Michelle. Where are you?’
Before reaching the bottom of the staircase, Jason stalled. In front of him, everything was black—like the last few stairs had turned to soot. Somehow, the pale walls looked like they were made from coal too. Bewildered, Jason reached forwards and gazed in disbelief when his hand appeared to dissolve into a gloomy cloud. A foul taste flooded his mouth. Michelle was in trouble, Jason was certain of it. Without thinking, he stumbled into the darkness.
‘Chelle. Chelle!’
Jason found it impossible to see anything. With his arms stretched out, he ventured a little further. Wisps of air lashed at his face as if something was moving within the deep black fog. Guarded, Jason inched away from the stairs and through the doorway to the living room. Blinded by the shadows, he used his instincts to guide him until a disturbing noise forced him to a halt. There was no doubt in Jason’s mind that he had heard a subdued scream. He could only assume it belonged to Michelle.
‘Michelle,’ shrieked Jason, before something swiped him from his feet.
Sprawled on the ground, Jason spotted an opening in the haze. Hidden amongst the blackness was Michelle, but she wasn’t alone. Somehow, Michelle was floating in the air, still wearing her nightdress. Black ribbon-like objects swooped around her, and Michelle writhed as she was struck over and again. Jason couldn’t understand what was attacking her. All he did know was that Michelle’s eyes had locked onto him from beneath her long reddish hair. She was pleading for help.
‘Chelle,’ grunted Jason as he reached forwards, clutching at tufts of carpet. ‘Chelle!’
Michelle lifted her hand, but it was quickly snatched away by her faceless assailant. ‘Sapphire,’ she moaned. ‘Jason…You have to protect Sapphire!’
Jason couldn’t move. Someone, or something, had grabbed his leg and was yanking him backwards. Twisting, Jason tried to catch a glimpse of whatever it was that held him. At first, he couldn’t make it out, but as his assailant materialised, he squirmed in horror. A pair of vivid yellow eyes shone in the dark, and they were moving towards Jason. Whatever was holding onto him, it wasn’t something he had seen before. Jason kicked his legs hard and circled back to Michelle.
‘Noooooo!’ he cried.
The shadowy creatures had engulfed Michelle in seconds. Intense flashes of light flickered around her. Only Michelle’s head could be seen, and pain smothered her eyes. Jason thrashed around, but it was impossible to break free. He had to get to Michelle, but he had no idea how. With a jolt, Jason was wrenched back, and his palms burned against the carpet when tried to grab onto it. Keeping his eyes fixed on his wife, Jason watched as the monsters overwhelmed her. No matter how hard he fought, there seemed to be nothing he could do.
After only a few moments, Michelle slumped on the ground as the sinister black clouds melted away. The merciless creatures were gone in an instant. Jason scrabbled across to his wife and wrapped his arms around her. She wasn’t breathing and her skin was icy cold. Holding Michelle close, Jason let out a scream which seemed to last forever.

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That’s all for now, but I will be back very soon with Chapter One.  I hope you’re enjoying the story so far.  Please feel free to get in touch below.

If you want to grab a copy of this book, it is available on Kindle & Paperback via Amazon.  The eBook is also available on Kobo, Nook and Apple Books.

Much Love.

R.J.

P.S.  Here are the links to find the book on Amazon and KOBO…

AMAZON U.S.A. Shadows: Sapphire Smyth & The Shadow Five (Part One)

AMAZON U.K. Shadows: Sapphire Smyth & The Shadow Five (Part One)

KOBO Shadows: Sapphire Smyth & The Shadow Five (Part One)

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