Rachel Barnard, a driven young author in the Seattle area, released the new version of her debut novel, Ataxia and the Ravine of Lost Dreams. The novel is version four, according to the Amazon version counter, and features a stunning new cover from Dodo’s Design as well as improvements within the front and back covers. The novel is available in both print and eBook formats on Amazon and Createspace.
Barnard wrote her debut novel after graduating from New College of Florida and has not stopped improving the novel since. She released the first version in 2012 but decided that she wanted a more vivid and professional cover. She has been working for months to solidify both interior and exterior of her book and has now released the updated and final version.
Ataxia and the Ravine of Lost Dreams follows MC three years after she has infiltrated one of many elite academies across the U.S. The government has created these academies in order to train the youth for high end government positions in order to take over the world. MC must rise to the top in the Cube training grounds in order to be placed high up within the government so she can stop them in their takeover. It is not until her fourth and final year at the academy that her top-student status is threatened by the sudden arrival of Li, the new transfer student. MC is completely focused on her self-created mission until she gets sidetracked by Li, who might be bad news in more ways than which she bargained.
“Rachel is a writer with a strong head on her shoulders. This is evidenced by her presentation of the main character. MC has a purpose, that’s at odds with her school life. She doesn’t need friends, sneers at getting a crush on a guy, and is willing to vanquish her enemies. Travel with her as she explores the underside of the school, finds her hiding places and learns strategy while fighting with the other students at the Cube,” says Victoria Bastedo, author of Dear Miklos.
Rachel Barnard released a book of poetry, Wandering Imagination, early this year that is also available on Amazon in print and eBook format. For more information on either the author or Ataxia and the Ravine of Lost Dreams, you can visit her website at www.rachelauthorbarnard.com
Excerpt from the book:
I walked into the Cube, rubbing my hand absentmindedly where the scanner had touched it. I looked up. I saw the sky – a blue window that contrasted starkly to the grey material that made up the walls of the Cube. I went over and touched the nearest wall. It looked so solid yet yielded slightly to the touch. I pushed in with my finger and it gave a little more. I let up and it sprang back to its original dimensions. It was designed to slow a fast-moving body without breaking limbs.
“Looking for the secret pathways?” a voice joked behind me. I whipped around, pushing my hand into my pocket and putting a glare of contempt on my face.
“You know those don’t actually exist,” I hissed at the squat shoulders of Johnny, my arch-nemesis.
He laughed as if I was a child who had just discovered that fire was hot by burning my hand. I tried to raise on my heels a little to lessen the height difference between us. He was massive, over six feet tall and three straight years of weightlifting and physical training had increased his massiveness tenfold. His strength was impressive and our body-tight outfits magnified his bulk even more. He snorted at me and then walked off. I held in my snide comment and put my hand back on the wall and trailed my fingers along the coolness, making my way around the football-sized arena, waiting for the first bouts. After everyone checked in at the entrance, four-man teams would be formed at random and the first two teams would be announced. I knew that I would only have five minutes to find my teammates before becoming an easy target for Johnny and his gang.
I looked back up at the sky. A few clouds were strolling along and one had created a large shadow on one of the Cube’s walls. I felt like it had been ages since I checked in at the gate. Some of the fourth years were taking a long time getting here. I wondered if it was purposeful. Suddenly a gong sounded and the walls of the arena lit up in color. Orange ran along one half and a light blue that matched the sky ran along the other half. An outline of a bird appeared on the blue while a tree appeared on the orange background. I looked down at my chest. No bird and no tree. Phew. I had time. My suit was a glittery gold with a sun on the front. That’s going to be great for camouflage. I rolled my eyes. The field was full of colors and I squinted, looking for gold. Five minutes, I breathed to myself and took off. I had spotted a glimmer on the other end. Getting closer, I saw that the glimmer was from silver and not gold. Four minutes to go and not a single speck of gold on the field. I decided, as most of the other students had that it was time to vacate the playing field. Most students made their way to the platforms on the corners of the fields but I went right up to the nearest wall and put my hands into one of the slots and began to climb. Swiftly I made it to the third floor and came face to face with Jeanie. She was in a light tan suit; surrounded by two others dressed the same. She held out her hand, in a gesture of friendliness and I grabbed it. She helped me clamber over the wall.
“Thanks,” I breathed and then took off around a corner, not looking back.
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