Lake Of Sins: Hangman's Army
by L.S. O’Dea
GENRE: YA, Dystopian Fantasy
A rebellion is brewing in the world of the Lake of Sins while Hugh Truent sits in prison days away from his execution.
After taking his findings about the genetic similarities between the classes to the Supreme Almighty and the Council, Hugh had been arrested for treason and all his evidence had vanished as if made from smoke.
To protect his family, he cut off all contact with the outside world while he sat in prison for over four years waiting for his execution. He has no idea that some of his reports were leaked to the other classes and that civil war looms on the horizon.
Trinity and her friends have no hope of winning the war unless they can unite the classes. In order to do that, they need someone everyone will follow. They need the one person all the classes trust and believe in. They need Hugh.
That means they have to break him out of a maximum security prison and convince him to lead their army, but that won’t be easy because Hugh wants revenge and he’s not going to let anything get in his way especially mouthy, attractive, know-it-all Trinity.
Trinity didn’t reply, but her back was straighter than before. He was getting on her nerves. Good because she sure got on his. She was nothing but trouble, an attractive know-it-all who refused to listen to anyone. His hand met the end of the rope. It was still a long way to the ground.
Jackson waited alongside the building with Tim. They were both flat against the wall, trying not to be seen.
“Drop. You’ll be fine.” Her voice was soft, no longer acidic and mocking.
He couldn’t deal with her being kind to him. They’d done so well bickering. The trip had been fast and he hadn’t thought much about the danger. “I’m an Almighty. My kind doesn’t always land on their feet.”
“Let go,” she said, a hint of anger in her voice.
“I will.” His hands tightened on the rope. A fall like this could break something.
“Now,” she snapped. “Or I’ll kick you in the face and say a prayer that you land on your head.”
Her foot waved above his head. He wouldn’t put it past her to do what she threatened. She’d probably enjoy it. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath, pushed back with his feet and let go. He was free. It was glorious. No chains. No cell. Just the air and the sky and…the ground. He hit hard, his legs taking the brunt of the fall. He rolled onto his back as Jackson’s hand grabbed his and pulled him to his feet. He touched his face, the impact of his landing still rattled through his teeth. Trinity dropped gracefully next to him. He hated House Servants, every last one of them.
What inspired you to write this story?
This story, in one format or another, has been rattling around in my head for years, so it’s hard to really determine what inspired it. I’d guess it was a compilation of the things that I’m most passionate about. I love animals, always have. As a child I spent my allowance on the Humane Society magazine. Many of the stories were horrible and tragic. The way animals are treated, abused and basically dismissed as lesser beings is something that saddens me. The world, or some of it, has gotten better over the years, but mainly with the animals that are considered pets. There are a lot of other animals that aren’t as fortunate.
As I grew up, I began to question everything. I especially questioned why it’s okay to eat meat. I read up and researched factory farming practices. I soon became vegetarian. My father was not thrilled. He worried about me getting enough protein – of course that myth has been debunked.
I don’t want you to think that my books are preachy, because they aren’t. Many people don’t even realize that one of the major themes is how we treat animals, but if you’ve read about factory farming and slaughtering then you’ll recognize these practices in my stories.
What was your favorite part to write?
I love writing dialogue. That’s my strong suit. The images, descriptions don’t come naturally for me. Those take work.
My favorite part in Hangman’s Army is the dialogue between Hugh and Trinity. This book is where you see the beginning of the love triangle and I’m a romantic at heart. I love the dance, the flirtation of two people who are attracted to each other but fight it. Add that attraction to the action scenes where the two must rely on each other to evade the River-Men and other forest predators and you get one hot and wild ride.
What was the hardest part to write?
I’m going to answer this question in two ways. First, the hardest part of any of these stories to write is the action scenes. Like I said above, descriptions don’t come easily to me so this requires a lot of editing and rewriting.
However, the parts that make me cringe are the parts where I have to go completely against something I believe. That’s not hard when I’m writing for the villains, but when it’s the hero it’s hard. As an example, in Secret In Blood, I have a section where Hugh feels terrible about having his Guards altered so that they can’t reproduce. He’s just realized that the Guards aren’t that different from him and his prior actions weigh heavy on him. This was hard for me to write because, although I wish it weren’t necessary, I do believe in spaying and neutering your pets. There are too many killed every year not to do so, but I also feel a twinge of guilt for taking this choice away from them. It has to be done, but who made me God?
How did you come up with your characters?
Most are created out of necessity. For example, Christian, the River-Man (who you meet in Escape) was created because I put my main character alone in the forest. Something had to happen and “poof” the River-Man was born.
My main character, Trinity, was initially a young boy on the run with his baby sister in the forest. Gaar and Mirra were a security guard and his dog. Boy, how things changed.
I kind of let the characters take over. It’s like once I let them out of the dungeon of my mind they shove my suggestions away and show me how much more interesting they are than I ever imagined.
Do you have anything coming up and can you tell us about it?
This summer I hope to release book 4 and five in the Lake of Sins series. Book four, Betrayed, will definitely be done by then. Betrayed takes up right where Hangman leaves off. We spend a lot more time in the head of Jethro and it’s a lot of fun. The love triangle also takes better shape.
Here’s a short excerpt from Betrayed.
Conguise added a glass of water and a large knife to the tray of bread and fruit. His reflection caught in the spotless blade. He’d aged a lot. Sorrow did that to a man. He opened the pantry door, grabbed the tray and headed down the stairs. Dread filled his stomach, churning more with each step. This was not a task he enjoyed. He wasn’t a cruel man, but he’d promised himself that he’d never again prepare or eat any food without knowing firsthand the source of the meat.
The first time he’d had no idea what to expect. His plan and execution had been flawed and the results had been horrible. He stepped off the final stair, took a deep breath, plastered a smile on his face and entered the concrete room. He’d been right about leaving the room bare. It was cold and desolate, but easier to clean than tile or wood.
“Good morning, Professor.” The young, male Producer was lying on the cot in the cage. He scratched his chest, his shirt stained with dirt and sweat, as he stood and walked to the table and chair. “Whatever you have smells good. I’m starving.”
The cage was filthy; clothes and bedding littered the floor. This male was slovenly and his habits were unclean. “Yes, I’ve brought homemade bread. The brown kind that you like. I even toasted a few slices.”
“Great.” The male locked his feet in the restraints attached to the floor by the chair and then snapped another shackle around one of his hands. “Can we leave the other off today?” He held up his free hand which was slightly swollen. “I’ve injured my wrist.”
“You know the rules.” The professor placed the tray on table outside of the cage and retrieved the key from the wall across from the cell.
“Okay.” The Producer’s tone was sullen as he snapped the other lock around his wrist. “Ouch.”
“I’ll take a look at your injury after breakfast.” Conguise opened the door. It was best to keep up the chatter, no matter how inane. “It doesn’t look too bad. A cold compress should fix it up in no time.” He picked up the tray and carried it into the cage, placing it in front of the Producer.
“Looks good.” The Producer lifted his hand toward the bread.
“Rules.” The professor touched the male’s shoulder.
“Okay.” He dropped his hand and closed his eyes, tipping back his head.
“How did you hurt yourself?” Conguise picked up the knife.
“I was trying to stand on my hands.” His face flushed a bit.
“Whatever for?” He stroked the male’s hair. It was soft. He was always surprised at how soft it was. It reminded him of brushing Viola’s hair when she’d been a little girl.
“I was bored. Can I eat now?” asked the Producer, eyes still closed.
“Not yet.” His voice was calm. That was important. These creatures could sense dread and fear. It made everything worse. “In a minute.” He raised the knife and in one smooth stroke slashed the Producer’s throat.
The male stiffed for one moment, his eyes opening and meeting Conguise’s. Confusion and surprise filled the male’s eyes. He tried to stand but the restraints restricted his movements. Conguise stepped back as the Producer grasped his neck, pushing the chair and table as he stumbled. The professor looked away from the betrayal in the creature’s brown eyes and focused on the blood pouring onto the floor. There was always so much blood. He needed to figure out a way to capture it. It’d be good fertilizer and some could be saved for blood sausage—cooked with peppers and onions would be delicious.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
L. S. O’Dea grew up the youngest of seven in a family that uses teasing and tricks as an indication of love (or at least that’s what she tells herself). Being five years younger than her closest sibling often made her the unwilling entertainment for her brothers and sisters.
Before she started kindergarten her brothers taught her how to spell her first and middle name—Linda Sue. She was so proud she ran into the kitchen to tell her mother. She stood tall and recited the letters of her name: L-E-M-O-N H-E-A-D.
She’s pretty sure she has her siblings to thank for the demons that lurk in her mind, whispering dark and demented stories.
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links to Amazon to purchase
escape = https://books2read.com/u/4Xgn21
secrets = https://books2read.com/u/bo6Dn9
hangman = https://www.books2read.com/u/bzpA5Z
The author will be awarding a Kindle Paperwhite to a randomly drawn winner (International winner) during the tour.