Power Play: Hero’s Sword Power Play: Hero's Sword Vol. 1Volume 1

All Jaycee Hiller wants to do is survive eighth grade. Mostly that means hanging with her friend, Stu, avoiding the cheerleading squad, secretly crushing on Nate Fletcher, and playing her favorite video game, Hero’s Sword.

When she receives a new video game controller, Jaycee finds herself magically transported into the Hero’s Sword video game world. Survival takes on a whole new meaning. No longer battling with a plastic joystick, Jaycee picks up a real sword and bow & arrow and readies herself for battle.

Can she save Lady Starla’s rule in Mallory, keep herself in one piece, and maybe even learn something about surviving middle school?

Add it on Goodreads.

Available now at Amazon (and Amazon UK), Barnes&NobleKobo, and the iBookstore.

From the reviews

“Written with wonderful humor and a real sense of the mindset of youth, ‘Power Play’ is a story not to be missed.”

“The dialog and the action sequences always roll smoothly … The middle-school level challenges Jaycee overcomes are clever and, overall, this a charming book.”

“Power Play- Hero’s Sword is a fun read and right up any middle-schoolers alley, especially girls, but also enjoyable for adults.”

“Her (Jaycee’s) evolution throughout the book is enjoyable to watch. If you enjoy adventure and fantasy, I think Power Play is a great read!”

“As the mom of two teenage daughters and one video-game-obsessed preteen son, this book definitely gets my mom stamp of approval. I’m always happy to discover books that portray girls as everyday heroines.”

“This is a fantastic read to inspire kids against giving up as well as keep their imaginations going…” – Cassandra Lost in Books

Excerpt from Power Play

The crowed followed us back to the manor grounds. I heard bits of conversation, people debating whether or not I was Lyla Stormbringer. I took this as progress. When I’d arrived no one had believed me. At least people were wondering now.

The practice ring was smaller than I thought it would be. It would have fit in half of the Tanner gymnasium and had a raised edge. Roger stepped into the ring and motioned for me to follow. “Lyla Stormbringer is a fearsome blade,” he said, making sure the entire crowd could hear. “It is only fitting, therefore, that she have a strong opponent, someone who can challenge her – me.” Roger unsheathed the sword on his hip and bowed.

I fought to keep my face expressionless. I had to fight Roger? On the one hand, this was good because I was sure he wouldn’t kill me. On the other hand, I was also sure he was a pretty good swordsman himself, so he wouldn’t give me a break either. I flexed my hands, drawing in deep breaths and trying to calm the butterflies in my stomach.

I drew my own blade. The leather-wrapped hilt felt good in my hand, like it belonged there. The sword was neither too light nor too heavy, and the sunlight shone off the blade. I rolled my wrist a couple of times, drawing circles in the air. It felt natural. I smiled, and swung my sword up in a salute, the way I saw in the movies, then bowed. Roger also smiled and we stepped into a ready position.

This might be fun. Then Roger attacked and I changed my mind. This might be deadly. Roger hadn’t been kidding, he was good and it took all I had to block his flurry of attacks. There were a couple of times that I thought he’d get me, but he didn’t. I was sure I was working on reflex alone, because it wasn’t skill.

The closest I’d gotten to swinging a real sword was playing Zelda on Stu’s Wii. Believe me, swinging a video game controller is not training for swinging a real sword. Roger chased me all over the ring, blows coming at my head, side and feet. I was managing, but barely. It was just a matter of time before he scored.

I heard muttering. Whatever street cred I’d earned at the archery range was gone. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the guy from the range elbow his neighbor and smirk. For some reason, that made my blood boil. A balloon rose in my chest and a ringing started in my ears. Enough was enough. Roger might beat me, but I wasn’t going to lose looking like a fool.

I went on the attack. The more I swung at him, the more Roger smiled. But I didn’t think it was the same kind of smile as the people watching. He looked pleased. I pressed him harder and sweat formed on his brow, then the smile disappeared as he frowned in concentration.

I couldn’t tell you how long Roger and I stomped across that ring. He swung at my head and I ducked. I swung at his feet and he jumped. I blocked a wicked strike that would have carved a chunk out of my chest. I recovered quickly, faked a blow to Roger’s right and swung at his left side. He spun quickly and blocked my swing.

Sweat poured down my face, stinging my eyes and I could feel my shirt sticking to my back. I should have been terrified, but I’d never had so much fun. A fierce confidence I’d never felt before burned in my chest. I still might lose, but I knew I was putting on a show.

After who knows how long, I saw my opening. I took a quick swing toward Roger’s head, but instead of swinging again when he blocked, I slid my blade along his and flicked my wrist in a circle. The move trapped Roger’s sword and twisted it out of his hands. It flew to the side and I held my sword inches from Roger’s throat. Soaked with sweat and breathing like a sprinter after a race, I smiled like I’d just been told I would be free of homework for the year.

Roger was also soaked, but his smile stretched across his face and his eyes twinkled. He nodded and I dropped my sword. He retrieved his own blade and we bowed to each other. I was breathing too hard to speak, but Roger held up my sword hand. “I declare this test passed,” he said, his voice ringing with pride. I bowed to the crowd.

“And now for the final test,” Roger said. “A test of wits.”

I was flying high. After the bow and the sword, I figured this would be cake. Boy, was I wrong.
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