I have already posted a review for this book! And here it is.
Blog Tour: The Salamander Stone by CJ Fenge.Book Summary: Amber discovers a conspiracy so earth-shattering it threatens the whole of the human race. Forced to go on the run, it seems that she has enemies in every corner - some for her power, others see her as their savior - others still Seek her out of twisted love or simple lust. At the center of everything, the Salamander Stone Attracts more than earthly evil. A demon is after Amber as well, and his desires are unthinkable.
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That weird cry came again, much closer now, cutting through the thick air—a high thin wail thrown far into the darkness and returning as a series of diminishing mocking echoes. Like a baby, thought Meshak, though no baby ever cried like that; no human ever cried like that.
Meshak stood up shakily on the sandy path, straining to see, trying to make sense of this alien world. Below him, on the trail he’d just crawled, another thing was crawling. He could sense it as a furry black shadow shifting and sliding, sucking its way towards him. It cried again as it slithered closer.
Meshak knelt in the sand on the pathway, and the thing, the black shadow, stopped crying and snuffled up close, filling the air with its rotting reek. It slithered behind him and he waited. After a moment he felt a soft suction as it burrowed under his clothes and battened greasily onto his back, inching its way up his body until it reached his left shoulder. Its voice hissed, insistent as it whispered interminably in his ear. It filled his mind, blocking out all other thought. Meshak stood up, his body giving little shivers of excitement like greeting an old friend. A long slow smile split his face in half; an evil gleam glinted in his eye. He moved down the path and back into his own world.
And the shadow on his shoulder went with him.
Amber scrambled to her feet to face Meshak, but what she saw made her suddenly afraid. She backed away, expecting a blow. But he didn’t even need to raise his fists. His eyes caught hers and the blow struck anyway.
He didn’t speak but grabbed her wrist, pulling her towards the motor bike.
“Meshak,” she cried desperately, “don’t!”
It was no use. Meshak was like some huge engine running through a program of its own. He wasn’t listening. He wasn’t seeing. He was not Meshak.
He pushed her onto the bike and into the handcuffs clipped to the handlebars. Then he sat behind her, leaning over with his great weight and pressing her head into the tank until she was spread-eagled on it. He gunned the engine and the great beast roared.
She closed her eyes; it had all gone wrong. She shouldn’t have cried out for Khiza. If only she’d kept her temper, if only she’d thought before accusing him. She’d hurt him and now the evil had surfaced and it was all her fault. But where was he taking her?
She thought she knew, though when the engine eventually slowed, it wasn’t the grounds of Charnwood she saw in the headlight. Amber could hardly believe it: they were back in Aberford. A minute later she knew which house he was heading for. The iron gates stood open and they turned into the driveway. Meshak steered the bike around the back where a door stood ajar throwing out a blaze of light as if waiting for them. He cut the engine.
“Meshak,” she tried again as silence descended, “what are you going to do with me?”
But he wouldn’t speak. He unlocked the handcuffs from the bike and started to pull her inside the house.
“Meshak!” Amber was frantic. She sank to the ground and resisted him with all her strength. “Meshak, you promised. You promised you would never hurt me!”
He stopped and looked down at her with his blank stare.
“Yes,” he said gruffly, “I promised, and I never break a promise.” He began walking again, dragging her behind him easily. “But I never promised that no one else would hurt you, did I, Amber?”
1- What inspired you to write this book?
The wonderful Thornborough Henges in Yorkshire which are over 5,000 years old. I spent a lot of time imagining the mysterious stories surrounding them. And what I imagined may be true – no one really knows the truth!
2- Are you in any way alike the main character?
I would like to think so! But Amber is a heroine and I wouldn’t be as brave or sensible as she is, given the situations she gets herself into.
3-When did you first start writing?
I’ve always written, but mostly in my head. It’s taken a good few decades to transfer the stories to paper.
4- Will there be a sequel for your book?
It’s on its way. The Salamander Stone is mainly from Amber’s point of view. The next is Khiza’s story, and the third one centres around Meshak, which will be a blast.
5- Where did you get the idea for Khiza, her 'imaginary' friend?
Khiza is based on the son of a friend of mine whom I knew in Africa. His name, I think, means soft wind or rain. I love the sound of it. It’s beautiful.
6- Is there any reason why you chose the Salamander Stone as the story's symbol and title?
This wasn’t my first title for the book. It was hard getting it right; it’s a much more difficult job than I thought. But the power of the Salamander Stone necklace runs through the whole story and at the end the Stone chooses another bearer, which sets us up nicely for Book 2: The Cobra Cup.
7- Do you have any advice for new writers trying to become authors?
Apart from the usual advice to write what you know - be ruthless with editing etc. - the best advice is keep trying. It can be a heartbreaking business so you’ve got to be quite tough. It helps if you have someone to support you through the bad times, someone who will keep you writing.