Monday, April 1, 2019

"The Antidote"

Shelley Sackier is the author of The Freemason's Daughter, Dear Opl, and the recently released The Antidote.

She applied the Page 69 Test to The Antidote and reported the following:
The page in question:
She sat next to him and shivered, staring out across the summer grasses. They rippled with the cool night breeze as if a giant, invisible hand were running its fingers through its weft and weave. “I’m sorry, Xavi. I know how stressful it’s been for you.”

He looked toward the star-filled heavens. “I must be persuasive—convince the ministry I am capable—but they have been cowed by Sir Rollins for far too long. I fear tomorrow I will be forced to go along with him, as no one yet holds my ideas in high esteem.” He sneezed and rubbed his nose with the back of his sleeve.

“Well,” Fee said wryly, “to be frank, the only thing I see lacking to make you a well-respected monarch is a proper handkerchief, but, if we are to be serious”—the tone of her voice changed, finding a mixture of optimism and wistfulness—“tomorrow is the start of all that. Princess Quinn arrives. You will make a fine king, Xavi. And I’m sure your parents chose an exceptional partner for you.”

Xavi slowly found his feet and made a purposeful effort to smile. “I hope you hold no worries, Fee. You’ll always remain my closest confidante.”

Fee brushed off the dirt on her trousers. Deep within her bones she knew this could not be true. Not with the changes that waited upon their return to the castle.

Xavi pulled her into an affectionate hug. “You are such a goose. Do not worry.” He swept a hand up toward the cave. “We’ll make it up there again one day—you’ll see. Tonight I’m just—”

His words were cut short by a high-pitched yelp and the flurry of limbs mixed with a cloud of dust rolling down from the ridgetop to rest at their feet.

Their mouths dropped open, stupefied with fear over being discovered, when a teenaged girl scrambled to find her footing, repeatedly apologizing while attempting to adjust her clothing.
I really like this page, love it actually, because it is a microcosm of all the books themes: the deep and enduring friendship between Fee and Xavi, Xavi’s worries over his ability to rule their kingdom, and most important, the constant threat of discovery—not just the two of them being out of place and breaking the rules of the kingdom, but of Fee being discovered for who she really is and breaking the rules of the right to exist.

It feels a bit like I won the jackpot with this Page 69 test, as I couldn’t have sought out a more perfect one to encapsulate and tether together all the roots of this tale.
Visit Shelley Sackier's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Shelley Sackier & Haggis.

My Book, The Movie: The Antidote.

--Marshal Zeringue