Neverland (Adventures in Neverland #1) by Anna Katmore
YA Fantasy Romance
Published: April 2014
Although Angelina McFarland loves reading fairytales, she never dreamed of falling right into one herself. But that’s exactly what happens when she slips on her balcony and a flying Peter Pan catches her mid-fall.
Ending up in Neverland where no one seems to age and laws of nature are out of control, Angel has no idea how to get home. Worse, the ruthless Captain Hook captures her and keeps her trapped on his ship, the Jolly Roger, where she gets caught between the lines of a timeless battle. But the more time Angel spends with the captain, the more she sees beneath his ruthless façade.
As Angel desperately tries to find a way to return to her real life, she discovers a train ticket to London in her pocket. It won’t be any help in getting off the island, but as her memory fades away the longer she stays, this is all she has left to remind her of her former life and why she can’t give up trying.
Or is staying in Neverland forever the better choice after all?
Grab a happy thought and follow Angel on an adventure that will keep you breathless and smiling long after you read the last page…
To my right, I find the gold-toothed pirate who announced the captain on board yesterday. He sits shirtless on a barrel, cleaning one of his boots. Spitting onto the tip, he rubs it with a smudgy cloth. Gross. But he’s the perfect member of the crew to tease into mutiny. He seems like someone who the others would listen to. Well, after Hook and Jack Smee.
As inconspicuously as a butterfly, I take a few swaying steps toward him, rock on the balls of my feet a few times and finally sit down on a heap of white linen and fishing nets. “Well, hello there,” I say innocently enough, though I can hear how my voice trembles.
The man gives me a greedy sideways glance, but he doesn’t return my greeting.
“What are you doing?”
“Cleanin’ me boots, lass,” he tells me in a rumbling deep voice and spits again. His saliva is tinted brown from tobacco and I have to take a deep breath in order not to puke.
“Is this all you do the entire day?”
“It’s enough for now.” Apparently he’s done with this boot, because he puts it on and pulls off the other, starting the disgusting procedure anew. I watch, transfixed. “Why are ye so interested in me boots, lass?”
“Hm? Oh, I’m just wondering why you’re spending time here, cleaning them, when you could be out doing, I don’t know, pirate things?”
“Pirate things?” he repeats in an amused tone.
“You know like ransacking other ships…fighting with other pirates. Isn’t this what you’re supposed to do after all?” Yeah, good tactic, Angel, I encourage myself.
“We would. But the Jolly Roger is the only ship out on the sea.” His eyes zero in on a spot of seagull poo on his boot and he gathers some real nasty phlegm from his throat. The sound raises goosebumps on my arms and makes my scalp prickle. He spits slime on the spot then polishes it off with the cloth. “There’s not much to pilfer in these waters.”
“That must be a boring life for you and the men on board then. I wonder why the captain doesn’t let you sail farther out and have some real fun.”
A soft laugh sounds from the sterncastle above. I tilt my head up and find Hook leaning casually against the railing on the bridge, obviously listening in on our conversation. He must know where I’m going with this and still he just laughs? I guess I’m safe then.
To show I don’t care in the least that he’s been eavesdropping, I flash a tightlipped grin back at him then return my attention to the shirtless man. “You should make him understand your needs as a pirate. What captain forces his crew to bob around a small island for years?”
“One who’s after a treasure.” When his boot is as shiny as can be, he slips it on again, stands up and shakes out the cloth. Only now I notice that it’s actually a shirt. His shirt. And he puts it on. Jeez!
“Ye sound like ye don’t approve of our cap’n’s decisions,” he states then and strokes his chin. “Are ye applying for the job yourself, lass?”
I stand up and shrug. “I’m just saying that pirates should be out doing something. Well, something other than cleaning decks or their shoes all day.”
“A fine cap’n ye would make, pretty lass. All skinny ‘n well-dressed.” He gurgles a laugh and places his hands on my hips. Whoa, not how I planned this conversation to go. When he strokes his thumb across my cheek, I’m sure he leaves a trail of grease behind. I back away, but he wraps his arm around my waist and pulls me close. “All the men would be at your feet.”
Suddenly he stiffens and it takes me only another heartbeat to realize why. The slim, sharp blade of a sword is pressed to his throat. “Take your hands off the lass, Brant Skyler,” Hook tells the man with venom in his voice. “Smartly.”
Mr. Skyler turns pale and jerks his hands away. “I was only jokin’ with her, Cap’n.”
“The joke is over. Leave her alone.”
Immediately, the pirate scuttles off to the group of his rum-drinking friends. Hook throws them a warning glare over his shoulder, then he shouts so loud everyone on the ship turns and listens. “The girl is not to be touched! The next man who puts a finger on her is shark bait! Understand?”
There’s a collective murmur of aye’s from all sides.
With a tight grip on my upper arm, Hook drags me toward the stairs leading to the bridge. He didn’t come down this way, I know because I’d been watching it. Did he just jump over the railing to come to my rescue?
Puzzled, I tilt my head to search his face. His eyes gleam with irritation, surprise and amusement. I can’t figure out which outweighs the others when he asks, “Why are you seducing my men, Angel?”
“Right. Unless I’m very much mistaken, you just tried to start a mutiny, which isn’t very nice either.”
For a brief moment, I stand on my toes to be on eye level with him. “Well, it backfired. Happy now?”
He pulls me closer until our noses touch and I gasp. “Do I look happy?” he growls.
No, he doesn’t. But nor does he look as angry as he should be. In a caress-like gesture, he places the blade of his sword into the crook of my neck. I don’t know what exactly he intends, but strangely enough it doesn’t scare me.
“Are you going to slice my throat?” I tease him.
“No,” he answers and even smiles a little. “But if you ever bother my men again, I’ll be forced to lock you up in that cabin.” With a brief nod in the direction of his bedroom, he makes his point clear.
Author Bio - Anna Katmore
Anna Katmore grew up in Vienna. After she graduated from school at the age of 18, she moved to Austria’s country side.
Apart from traveling around the world, her one big passion is writing. She says about herself that she has been a storyteller all her life. Already in kindergarten, she came up with the most exotic fantasies and tales. Her teacher used to call her a liar. Anna calls it the cornerstone of her writing career.
Inspired by authors such as Lisa Jane Smith, Stepheny Meyer, and Becca Fitzpatrick, she started writing her first novel in 2009. Excessive reading and analyzing the structure and characters of her favorite books helped her develop the necessary skills and her very own voice. Because of her love for the language, she writes stories in English first, and when she finds a few weeks to squeeze into her tight writing schedule, she translates them into German later.
Her preferred genres are YA and fantasy romance.
In late 2012, Anna debuted with her novella PLAY WITH ME and later made this the first book of a series called Grover Beach Team. PLAY WITH ME was a finalist in its category for the RONE (Reward Of Novel Excellence) Awards, hosted by the InD’Tale magazine at the Romance Novel Convention 2013 in Las Vegas.
One funny fact: People always told Anna that she can’t make a living with being a writer. So when PLAY WITH ME came out and sold more than 500 units every day during the first four weeks, she was thunderstruck. It took her a few days to realize what was going on.
Anna is married and has a 12-year-old son. She loves her two cats, Lily and Emma, as much as she loves her family, tries to stay fit with ZUMBA dancing twice a week, and usually spends 86% of her day writing. The remaining time is used up for food and inevitable sleep.
If you still want to know more about me, my FAQ page is the right address for you. http://annakatmore.com/faq/