Sting by Cindy R. Wilson ***YA Dystopian - Spotlight - Guest Post - Giveaway***
Check out my stop on the blog tour for Sting by Cindy R. Wilson from Entangled Teen!
by Cindy R. Wilson
Genre: YA Dystopian
Release date: March 3rd 2020
They call me the Scorpion because they don’t know who I really am. All they know is that someone is stealing from people with excess to help people with nothing survive another day.
But then a trusted friend reveals who I am―“just” Tessa, “just” a girl―and sends me straight into the arms of the law. All those people I helped…couldn’t help me when I needed it.
In prison, I find an unlikely ally in Pike, who would have been my enemy on the outside. He represents everything I’m against. Luxury. Excess. The world immediately falling for his gorgeous smile. How he ended up in the dirty cell next to mine is a mystery, but he wants out as much as I do. Together, we have a real chance at escape.
With the sting of betrayal still fresh, Pike and I will seek revenge on those who wronged us. But uncovering all their secrets might turn deadly…
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What drives the main character?
by Cindy R. Wilson
Sting was one of my favorite stories to write, but the main character, Tessa, was one of the most challenging. I wanted to write a strong MC but one who has vulnerabilities like everybody in the real world. And because of that, she had many more layers than I expected.
Most people don’t know this but originally, the main character in STING was named Temper. From the moment I created this character, I pictured this fiery, headstrong heroine that could keep up with the toughest of them. She had a scar on her cheek, knew how to throw knives like a professional, and put herself in the position of taking care of all the people in her community. Since the story is based off the classic novel, The Count of Monte Cristo, I wanted to stick close to the story but I also wanted a character that was more relatable—especially to teen and adult women. She’s driven by the need to see justice. Her people aren’t being treated right, but it’s also personal, which means there’s a fine line between justice and revenge. And isn’t that true for all of us? We want what’s good and right for the greater good, but a lot of times we’re fueled by something that has affected us personally.
That’s exactly what’s fueling Tessa. She’s been wronged and her people as a whole are being wronged as well. It started off small and became something larger, something that she couldn’t back down from. I loved writing a character that had to find a balance between what’s right and wrong. A balance between staying true to herself to do what was right and being ruthless for the sake of justice.
Hopefully readers can relate to Tessa. So much of what we all do in our lives is fueled by our past and that’s exactly why I wanted to write a character who had to find herself, truly find herself, in the midst of an agenda. Sometimes it takes following our hearts, our passions, and pursuing what’s right to really find out who we are and recognize that there’s a different, better way to make a difference.
ExcerptHis fingers brush mine when he takes the knife, and I fight back a shiver, trying to hold my ground.
“Scorpion,” he says softly.
I brace myself for more Pike wisdom, or maybe even a mention of the kisses we’ve shared that we haven’t mentioned.
Instead, he smiles. “You’ve been a very good teacher. Are you sure you want to do this?”
“If you say so.”
He takes his stance, gaze zeroed in on the board. He’s wearing a simple blue shirt, cut off at the shoulders, and his muscles flex when he lifts his arm.
I exhale just as he throws and the knife zooms to the board, hitting inside the widest ring, but not in the middle.
His eyes narrow. I smile.
“I’d like to see you do this with a distraction,” he says.
My heart flutters, but I nod. “No problem.”
I step to the line, a whole head shorter than Pike. I feel his eyes on me. In fact, he’s so close, I feel the heat from his body. But I’m focused, and all I can see is the red circle I’m aiming for.
I squeeze the blade between my fingers and hold my breath, preparing to throw.
Pike blows on my neck.
Chills race across my skin even as I fling the knife. The blade hits the board with a thud, straight in the middle.
Pike curses softly and shakes his head. I turn to him, unable to help the smile stretching wide across my face. “See? I know a little something about focus.”
“Looks like you could use some practice.”
“What about on the mat?” He lifts an eyebrow. “Do you have focus there?”
Uh…no. But Pike doesn’t need to know that. “I have focus anywhere.”
He points. “Mat. Now.”
I lift my chin, toss the last knife at the board, and smirk when it hits the center. Then I walk to the mat. I get into my stance before he joins me. I wouldn’t put it past him to attack right away. Pike’s a big fan of not being caught off guard, and he’s taught me accordingly.
Pike stalks the edge of the mat, knees bent. He feigns a lunge, then laughs when I tense.
“You’re lucky I don’t have a knife,” I say, mock warning in my tone.
He takes a step closer. “Luck has nothing to do with it. It’s all about being prepared. Besides, I don’t want a hole in my side like Mongo.”
“He deserved it.”
Pike gives me his dangerous smile and takes another step. Almost close enough to reach me. “You’re not saying I deserve to be stabbed, are you?”
My chest vibrates with a low laugh, but I’m still on guard. “No, Pike. Not today, anyway.”
His smile lights his eyes. And suddenly he stands fully, shoulders relaxing, and closes the gap between us.
I draw in a sharp breath. “What are you doing?”
“What does it look like?”
His hands skim my arms, making me shiver. I lift my chin to meet his eyes, lips parting slightly.
“Pike,” I say, my voice coming out breathless.
Then he sweeps my legs from beneath me. I hit the mat hard, banging my elbows. I kick out and almost catch Pike’s leg, but he’s too fast. He bends and snags my arm, twisting it behind my back as he pushes me flat on my stomach. My breath whooshes out, but I don’t struggle. Crap. So much for proving I can’t be distracted.