Title: Demon Royale (The Dream Slayer Series, #2)
Age Group: YA
Author: Jill Cooper
Release date: Oct. 10, 2012
DREAM SLAYER (Book, #1) will be FREE Oct. 12-14, 2012
The only thing worse than dying, is running away…
Since becoming employed by a supernatural protection agency, Natalie Johnson’s life has been more interesting than ever. While most teens are working on their summer tans, Natalie works on slaughtering the undead lurking just outside her town’s borders.
The workload takes more than just a toll on her love life, it dampens her spirit and her health, as the town is plagued by a mysterious murderer intent on stealing the residents’ souls. Natalie’s investigation is hampered by her declining health and the sicker she gets, the more inadequate she feels.
Guilt over her inability to act, weighs heavily on Natalie’s shoulders during a time when her strength is needed more than ever. As some of those closest to her begin to lose faith, she must make the hardest stand yet to save the soul of the one person she can always count on:
That was Natalie’s first thought when she regained consciousness on the floor beside her hospital bed. Her brain was on fire and felt like it was being torn from her skull. There was blood dripping down her forehead into her line of sight. She groaned, grabbing her temples. She was fine, that’s what she kept saying, but now all she could think was, You’re dying.
She blinked her eyes and between each blink, she saw Mark Glovin at the mess hall in the summer camp kitchen. Natalie had never been able to phase in and out of a dream so easily before. It was like she was sitting in front of him instead of the slayer.
“You okay, kid?”
“No, my head really hurts right now.” The slayer said the words, but so did Natalie, on the floor of her hospital room, mumbling out loud. She wasn’t even sure if the words were hers or not. Was she the slayer or was she the paladin? Some days she wondered if it mattered at all.
Natalie groaned, fighting to keep her eyes open. She reached backward and saw the nurse call button dangling from the safety guards of her bed. Medication and help were what she needed, but her outstretched fingers couldn’t reach. Her eyes rolled into the back of her head as her arm slumped beside her.
In her mind, she saw the slayer slumped on the floor of the kitchen, Mark rushing to her side.
She guessed everyone was right. There really was something wrong with her.
After that amazing trailer, let’s see what the author had to say about writing Demon Royale and how she panicked about getting it wrong. She wrote an amazing Guest Post for us:
In Dream Slayer Natalie Johnson is a day dreamer who creates a world of fantastical adventures. Her dreams create chaos in the real world as everyone’s nightmares, deepest fears, manifest around them. When it’s over she discovers her real power, strength, but people suffer along the way.
And some die.
I had setup a platform for a series about two kick butt heroines. I know where they will end up in Book three and ultimately where the series will end. But how do I get them there?
Initial I had a kick butt plot setup where Natalie springs into action, kills a lot of demons, saves her friends from sacrifice, and eats a lot of pancakes. It was great, it was exciting. My husband loved it, but I wasn’t sure.
It was missing something.
I wasn’t sure what it was missing at first. It seemed like a logical step in Natalie’s progression. She’s learning to fight and figuring out who she is; her relationship with her boyfriend, and along the way she saves the world. Again.
But there was no compassion for the fallen. No remorse for the damage and death she had caused in the first book. I realized I had focused all her attention on learning to fight, to become an effective undead killer, and I needed to put that focus on her emotions.
So I kept some aspects of the plot I loved (like the pancakes, demonic squirrels) and I started over. In Dream Slayer, Natalie had never questioned her destiny because there wasn’t time. The city was at stake! There was evil all around.
Now in this highly personal novel for Natalie it gives her the opportunity to mourn the lost and gives her the chance to decide, ‘is this what I really want’? Is she comfortable being a hero, a leader?
While there is still a lot of danger, evil, and the world is again at risk, it is a smaller journey for Natalie as she comes to grips with her life and the past choices she’s made. As she gets sicker and she begins to lose strength, she always loses resolve. When you’re the hero with no one else to reside on what should she do? What would you do?
Check out the links for these books, and remember that Dream Slayer, the first book in the series will be FREE on Amazon all through October 12 to October 14th. Also, don’t miss the chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card on the giveaway above!