The Seventh Hour
Publication date: January 6th 2016
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
When the Earth’s rotation slowed to a crawl mankind was plunged into a harsh world of burning hot days and endless, arctic nights. Some fled to the mountains for shelter. Others took to the seas, sailing forever in the perfect gold between the night and the day; a place known as the Seventh Hour.
Liv was raised aboard a ship chasing the Seventh. She’s never seen the night, never known true cold, and when a storm destroys her home she’s on land for the first time in her life. She’s alone, surrounded by strangers and perils she couldn’t have imagined in her worst nightmares. Her only chance at survival is Grayson.
He saved her. He’ll protect her. He hates her.
Old grudges run deeper than the sea, and Liv and Gray will have to overcome them together to make it to morning.
To survive the longest night.
“How long have I been here?” I ask the ceiling.
Grayson’s cot creaks in protest. He must be moving. He’s always moving, always adjusting and grunting, waking up in the middle of the night to stand and stretch. He’s hurt in some way but he won’t tell me how.
“Um,” he groans thoughtfully, “three full days. I think.”
“What time is it? Which hour?”
“We’re in the Eighth.”
I laugh shortly, but there’s no joy in it. Only disbelief. I’ve never been out of the Seventh hour before. I shudder to think what the world looks like outside. “Is it dark?”
“It should be getting there.”
“Yep,” he answers on a yawn.
“Have you ever been outside this late?”
“Normally, yeah. We don’t always have to close the doors this early, but the storms are bad this year.”
“What’s it like?”
He’s being glib. He does that a lot.
“Do you want to elaborate on that?” I insist.
He doesn’t answer right away. Maybe he’s deciding how to shut my questions down, maybe he’s actually formulating an answer, but what I know he’s not doing is ignoring me. As aloof as he is, he’s never snubbed me.
“What do you want to know?” he finally asks reluctantly.
I shrug even though he can’t see it from across the room. “I don’t know.”
“Then I don’t know what to tell you.”
“Have you ever seen the stars?”
“Yeah, of course.”
“What are they like?”
“Lights in the sky,” he explains dryly.
“That’s it. A lot of them are planets that are already burned out but their last light is still traveling. They’ll all burn out for good someday.”
I frown. “That’s sad.”
I think I prefer poetry.
“When you step outside in the Eighth hour, what’s the first thing you think?” I press, hoping to get a real answer. One that doesn’t end with the slow, gasping death of the entire universe.
“I think it’s dark. And cold.”
“Oh, forget it,” I moan, rolling over. Turning my back on him.
Minutes go by. Long minutes. Ten minutes. Twenty. Nearly thirty. I think we’re done, that the discussion is over and he’s gotten his way, nettling me into silence, but then he speaks and it’s more of a surprise than I’m ready for.
“I think about how I’m going to miss it,” he says, his voice filling the room low from the floor up to the ceiling, warm and pensive. “I step outside in the Eighth when the sun is gone and it’s getting too cold to stand, and I think how long the next six months are going to be.”
I swallow hard, his honesty leaving a strange taste on my tongue. “Does everyone feel that way?”
“I don’t know. I haven’t asked everyone.”
“What is it that you know you’re going to miss?”
“The sky,” he answers immediately. “The air. The way it smells.”
“It smells like the ocean here.”
I roll my eyes. “I mean it smells familiar. When we went outside to before, it smelled like home. It was nice. For a second.”
He shifts on his cot, grunting painfully. “It’s going to be a long year for you.”
“Who are you kidding, Grayson?” I ask sadly. “It’s going to be a long year for all of us.”
Author is the Loneliest Number
Why Writing Sucks at Being Awesome
by Tracey Ward
I’ll start this by saying I love my job. SO much. Even on the bad days.
I’ve worked in insurance, at a jewelry store, a video store before they went extinct. Target. The best thing I can say about those jobs is that I got paid. They covered my bills and put gas in my car. But until I started writing I didn’t know what it was to love a job. Like really love it with my whole heart.
I also didn’t know what it could feel like to really hate it either. Not even on Black Friday at 4 a.m. in Target red surrounded by discount waffle makers did I know true hate.
Now I do.
Being an author sucks because it’s lonely. I make my own covers, I write the stories alone, I market everything myself. If it bombs, it’s on me. Only me. That’s when I hate it. That’s when I feel like I failed my fans, and I cannot stand that feeling. On the flip side, if it succeeds that’s my success. Mine all mine. But no one can appreciate it like I can. No one went through the process with me. No one sweated the book like I did, no one else poured their soul into it, and in the end I’m still alone.
So what’s the sunny side of being an author? There has to be one, right? Otherwise this post accomplishes nothing but bringing everybody down and making us all want waffles.
Good news! There is a sunny side; you. Readers. You guys make it worth it. You guys make the loneliness fade away when you love a character I’ve created or simply spent a few hours wandering the world I’ve built. Whether you enjoy the story or not, you visit it. You breathe life into it by turning the pages, reading the words.
You make it worth writing; love, hate, loneliness and all.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
"I don't write romances, I write relationships. One is pretty and perfect and all consuming. The other is real."
I was born in Eugene, Oregon and studied English Literature at the University of Oregon (Go Ducks!) I love writing all kinds of genres from YA Dystopian to New Adult Romance, the common themes between them all being strong character development and a good dose of humor.
My husband, son, and snuggly pitbull are my world.
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