For Once, The Heroine Saves Herself

I was recently feature on the Pubslush blog for my book The Skinwalker’s Apprentice, read the excerpt below and follow the links to learn more about my Pubslush Campaign for NY Comic Con!


The Skinwalker’s Apprentice 
By: Claribel Ortega 

It had been a long day, and Emerald was finally back in her room.As she took her army jacket off, one of her safety pins caught on her t-shirt and she yanked it, ripping a hole through the white fabric. She put her finger through the hole of the shirt and sighed, shaking her head. Serves me right, she thought. She slid one sneaker off with her right foot and kicked it in the air, then did the same with the other, not bothering to check where it landed. They’d put themselves away, she thought.

Since her room was the only place she could use magic, she used it freely, enchanting every last thing from her socks to her wallpaper. Her walls were covered with posters of her favorite bands, and they all came to life as she entered the room. One drummer in a black and white poster twirled his drumsticks in an infinite loop, while the guitarist shredded his guitar midair, legs splayed out to his sides. The little wallpaper that was showing from underneath her posters, swayed as if the flowers were in a breezy meadow instead of an apartment in downtown Manhattan. Her mint-colored robe laid lazily on her bed, its fluffy sleeves turning the pages of her precious Vive Le Rock magazine as if it could actually read, or see for that matter. Emerald shook her head and smiled, just as her slippers plodded out from underneath her bed, stopping at her feet.

“Not yet,” she dismissed the slippers, and they shuffled back into the darkness underneath her wrought iron bed. Records lined the shelf to the right of her bed, and a record player sat on the sill of the bay window that looked out into her backyard.

She looked at her record collection and twisted her mouth in thought. Before she could make up her mind what to play, a record flew off the shelf, slipping out of its sleeve and floating over to her stereo set. The needle settled on the vinyl disk and ‘Pearly-Dewdrops’ Drops’, began to play.

She peeled her jeans off and left them on the floor, walking to her bathroom. One giant advantage of living in the boarding house: a private bath. She stepped into the white tiled room and ran the tub with hot water. As the room steamed up, she looked at herself in the mirror. Emerald wasn’t ugly, but she wasn’t pretty either. She was just strange looking, different, but not in a bad way, she thought. That never bothered her, Emerald liked being unique. She just didn’t like the problems that came with it. She felt misunderstood, like nobody knew who she really was. When she looked at herself in the mirror, besides blue hair and emerald green eyes, for which she was named, she saw someone who stood up for herself. She saw someone who wasn’t afraid to speak up, who defended people who didn’t know how to defend themselves. She knew she was a loyal friend and that she had a selfless heart. Well, she did most of the time, she cringed, remembering how she’d reacted to Seneka’s news that afternoon.

But somehow she had become a nuisance, a rebel, and the girl who always had too much to say and didn’t know when to quit and shut up. None of the great things she thought about herself mattered as much as the awful things everyone else thought about her. Those things seemed to weigh heavily in her heart, and to take up all the space in her brain…

Read the rest of my Writer’s Corner spotlight on the Pubslush Blog Here



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