Publisher: Storywell Press
Number of pages: 80
Word Count: 13500
Tagline: Only proven fighters win mates. Cain isn't a warrior, but he's going to fight for a chance to win a partner
Cain wants an Evite—a woman—of his own. In a world where mating is strictly controlled, he must follow the rules and enter Carnia; New Eden’s prestigious annual mating festival.
Many fight for the privilege, but few are chosen.
After a humiliating defeat, Cain’s best friend shows him another way—albeit a secret, forbidden way—to get into Carnia. A way that might offer Cain an opportunity to win a mate, or cost him everything.
Because not only must Cain prove he’s worthy to take part in Carnia…
…he must also survive it.
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Read an Excerpt:
Cain landed hard on his back amidst shouts and jeers. The dirt felt cold against his skin, and his opponent—a short and muscular boy named Zak—danced menacingly around him, daring him to get back on his feet. At first, Cain didn’t budge. He was paralyzed by the noise of the crowd, which was quickly turning into a mob. The crowd consisted mainly of Adamite youth. They had gathered in the gymnasium to watch one of the many bouts that took place in the month prior to Carnia. At seventeen, Cain was now at the age where he could compete for the privilege to be chosen for Carnia, but so far things were not going well. Beyond the crowd of Adamites, Cain noticed that some of the Elders were watching from the elevated seating nearby. They were all dressed in white tunics, which was the customary dress. All Adamites wore some variation of a tunic, but the Elders’ tunics were a bit more elaborate, some of them adorned with decorations along the fringes in special colours to mark status. And unlike Cain, who was covered in sweat and dirt, they were unblemished. One of them, a bald-headed man, shook his head in dismay. Cain knew what that meant, and a torrent of fear and emotion washed over him. He curled himself into a ball and started sobbing. Displaying such emotion did not help, but he could not control himself. He wanted nothing more than to be swallowed into the earth.
“Get up, sissy! Are you an Evite?” Zak taunted. The crowd chimed in as well.
That last one hurt, because nobody among the Adamites ever had a mother. To be called a mother’s boy meant you were somehow one of the Evites. And sometimes Cain wondered if, in fact, he was. He continued sobbing, and as he buried his face in his oversized boxing gloves, he began to wish he was an Evite. He wished he could live amongst them because at least then he would never have to prove his masculinity.
“Get up!” Zak repeated. “What’s the matter with you? I barely hit you.”
The referee, who was a small boy, knelt beside Cain and began the countdown, slamming his palm into the dirt floor, kicking dust into the air each time. Cain did not move. When the referee declared Zak the winner, cheers erupted. The crowd hoisted the victor up onto their shoulders and carried him off. Cain had his eyes closed the entire time, but he could hear the noise slowly receding.
When Cain finally opened his eyes, everyone including the Elders was gone, and all he saw was a tall, wiry young man with dark hair standing above him. Through pain and tears, Cain recognised him. It was Abe, his best and only friend since early childhood. Abe held out his hand to Cain. “You ready to get up?”
Meet the Author:
Jay DeMaarten has been a lover of writing since his high school days. He is a journalist and freelance writer, publishing articles on a wide range of topics. His primary passion, however, is fiction in all its mediums. Jay enjoys storytelling in both the spoken and written word, and for the last six years he has been learning and experimenting with writing fiction. He developed a special love for science fiction and fantasy during his days at the University of Guelph, where he graduated with a Master of Arts in 2013. Since then, he has been working on a full-length novel entitled Noah’s Ark, which will be published in 2020. When not writing, he enjoys walking, watching movies, exercising, and studying. He is currently studying accessibility media at Ryerson University. Jay resides in Toronto.
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