I’m so thrilled to have author Cat Winters on the blog today to share an exclusive excerpt from her new novel Odd & True. This book is the perfect read to get you in the mood for the Halloween season, so be sure to check out the excerpt below and add this one to those fall TBRs!
About the Book
Title: ODD & TRUE
Author: Cat Winters
Pub. Date: September 12, 2017
Publisher: Amulet Books
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Trudchen grew up hearing Odette’s stories of their monster-slaying mother and a magician’s curse. But now that Tru’s older, she’s starting to wonder if her older sister’s tales were just comforting lies, especially because there’s nothing fantastic about her own life—permanently disabled and in constant pain from childhood polio.
In 1909, after a two-year absence, Od reappears with a suitcase supposedly full of weapons and a promise to rescue Tru from the monsters on their way to attack her. But it’s Od who seems haunted by something. And when the sisters’ search for their mother leads them to a face-off with the Leeds Devil, a nightmarish beast that’s wreaking havoc in the Mid-Atlantic states, Tru discovers the peculiar possibility that she and her sister—despite their dark pasts and ordinary appearances—might, indeed, have magic after all.
Exclusive Excerpt from Cat Winters!
I’m so excited to share an excerpt from Odd & True here on YA and Wine! I’ve chosen a scene that takes place toward the beginning of the book, set during in January 1909—a time in which a real-life monster sighting captivated part of America. Older sister Odette mysteriously disappeared from home almost two years earlier, but now she’s back with a plan to take her younger sister, Trudchen, on a quest to slay a mythical beast.
Here’s a small taste of Odd & True . . .
“I know I’ve buried you in all sorts of wild tales throughout the years,” said Odette, “but there’s truth to the stories about our mother, Tru. You must believe me—she was special. She wasn’t an ordinary mother, and I’ve learned she didn’t leave Oregon just to save our uncle Magnus from dying of asthma, as Aunt Vik’s claimed all these years.”
The excitement in Od’s voice warned she was about to dump another one of her “wild tales” into my lap. A sharp stab of disappointment punctured my elation.
“What did . . .” I cleared my throat and squirmed. “What did you learn?”
Od leaned closer. “As I’ve already told you hundreds of times before, it runs in our family, this ability to protect others. Before she came to America, our mother’s mother was a fierce Protector of villages in the Black Forest of Germany, and Mama inherited that talent from her. But the gifted people in our bloodline don’t just hunt down dark creatures.” Od’s gloved fingers grew warmer against my hands. “They attract them. The creatures come to them.”
My shoulders sank. “Od, please. I don’t want any tales of monsters right now . . .”
“Listen to me.” She cast a quick glance toward the bedroom door. “It started sometime when Mother was fifteen, after her parents both died. Aunt Vik, Uncle Magnus, and Mama lived on their parents’ farm in the hills west of Portland, and things—terrifying things beyond normal animal and human categorization—fought to get into the house late at night, despite all the charms and bells they hung from the eaves, just like the amulets hanging outside your very own window. They were forced to kill the creatures or to send them away through special mirrors.” Od turned toward the window and lifted the bottom edge of the curtain. “Oh, Lord!” She whipped her head my way and glowered. “Where’s the hand mirror I left with you?”
“Od, please, stop—”
“Where is it? Why isn’t it protecting you anymore?”
“I’ve hidden it.”
She jumped to her feet. “Where?”
“It doesn’t matter.”
“Yes, it does.” She dragged me up to a standing position. “Fetch it, please! Hurry! This isn’t a joke, Tru.”
“I can’t hurry anywhere.”
“You must. You’re fifteen now. The same thing that happened to our mother could happen to you.”
“Od, stop!” I yanked my arms out of her grip, but without my brace to support me, I fell backward to the floor and landed on my rump with a jolt of my neck.
“Tru! Are you all right?” Od reached down to help me, but I shoved her hand away.
“I’m not hurrying anywhere,” I said, “and I’m certainly not going to chase after any monsters, real or otherwise. If you think my leg miraculously healed while you were gone, then you’re even more childish than you sound.”
Od froze at those words, her arm still outstretched, her eyes round with shock.
I lowered my face and heard how callous I had sounded—even though it was true: her refusal to face reality seemed worse than ever.
“I’m sorry,” I said. “I shouldn’t have said that.”
Aunt Viktoria’s mattress squeaked in the room next door. Od and I whipped our heads in that direction.
A moment later, another snore rumbled from beyond the wall, behind my embroidery collage of birds frozen mid-flight. In unison, my sister and I released held breaths.
Od kneeled in front of me and removed her gloves. “I didn’t mean to make you fall. I’m so sorry, Tru. Are you hurt?”
“Just this morning,” I said in a whisper, “I told Auntie that more than anything in the world, I wished to be with you.”
“You see, then?” She grabbed my hands. “Birthday wishes do come true.”
“Ever since you left, I’ve longed to leave this farm and find you, to live with you, but I’ve always known I would have to be reasonable about it. I want a real life that would make me happy, not a pretend one.”
About Cat Winters
Cat Winters’s critically acclaimed debut novel, In the Shadow of Blackbirds, was named a 2014 Morris Award Finalist, a 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults pick, a 2013 Bram Stoker Award Nominee, and a School Library Journal Best Book of 2013. Her upcoming novels include The Cure for Dreaming (Amulet Books/Oct. 2014) and The Uninvited (William Morrow/2015), and she’s a contributor to the 2015 YA horror anthology Slasher Girls & Monster Boys. She lives in Portland, Oregon. Visit her online at www.catwinters.com.
Photo by Tara Kelly
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Enter the Giveaway
(3) winners will receive a finished copy of ODD & TRUE, US & Canada.
Follow the Blog Tour
Thanks so much to Rockstar Book Tours for hosting this tour! Be sure to check out their website here as well as the other amazing posts on this tour!
9/4/2017- Adventures of a Book Junkie– Interview
9/5/2017- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review
9/6/2017- YA and Wine– Guest Post
9/7/2017- Ex Libris– Review
9/8/2017- Novel Novice– Guest Post
9/11/2017- Take Me Away To A Great Read– Review
9/12/2017-Two Chicks on Books– Interview
9/13/2017- Falling For YA– Review
9/14/2017- Stories & Sweeties– Guest Post
9/15/2017- Lisa Loves Literature– Review
Did you enter the giveaway to win a copy of Odd & True? What are some books that get you in the mood for the Halloween season?