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The Insomnia Files TEASER | File #2: KAY SOMNUS (Chapter 1)

The Insomnia Files TEASER | File #2: KAY SOMNUS (Chapter 1)

“Control. Focus. Be the master. Not the puppet.”

 

Hey there, Sleepwalkers, and welcome to Teaser Tuesday!

In anticipation to the April 7th release of The Insomnia Files (Insomnia Saga #1.5), a short story collection, I’ll be sharing a teaser today of the second file, KAY SOMNUS.

 

The Insomnia Files contains three short stories written from three different perspectives, diving deeper into the Insomnia Saga universe.

FILE #1 tells the story of Jodi Collins and takes place four years prior to INSOMNIA: Thirteen years old, Jodi has just started working for the Miller Academy. As she’s sent on a mission on a dark, wintery night, she has no choice but to confront the demons of the Night—and fight them.

In FILE #2 fifteen-year old Kay Somnus is about to take his final exam to become the youngest Summoner in history… but in order to succeed, he will have to pretend—and believe—he is someone he’s not, and forever deny himself his true power.

Alain Somnus, the very first Summoner of Light, is the voice of FILE #3. Hundreds of years ago, he opened a gate and allowed dark powers to spill in that would change the world forever… creating the darkest secret ever kept. Haunted by nightmares and his failure to protect the only girl who had ever managed to touch his heart, he opened the Somnus Academy—but could he live with the lies?

 

Did you know? The first story, JODI COLLINS, is available as a free eBook! Find out more.

 

Today I’d like to give you all a sneak peek to the second story, written from Kay’s perspective — so hereby I’ll be sharing CHAPTER 1: BLOOD AND BROTHERHOOD.

 

[SPOILER WARNING: If you haven’t read INSOMNIA (Insomnia Saga #1) yet, the following chapter will contain major spoilers that could affect your reading experience. So… read on at your own risk — or quickly close this tab 😉 ]

 


FILE #2: KAY SOMNUS

 

CHAPTER 1

BLOOD AND BROTHERHOOD

Standing on the altar is a black cross, its surface inlaid with blood-red stones. It’s for my mother. Although she had been raised in Somnus, she was originally from Miller, our neighboring city filled with churches that tower into the sky. I had been there a couple of times with my parents, back when they were still alive. I can still vividly remember my mother telling me she enjoyed visiting Miller because she knew her father and mother had always been fond of the city—yet that to her, Somnus had become her true home.

    I swallow, recalling her face. It’s easy; next to the cross, there is a picture of her and my father.

    Recalling her voice, however, is getting harder.

    Two years. It’s been two years since I watched her and my father die.

    The blood—I can still smell it. Their screams—I can still hear them. The pain—I can still feel it.

    The scars—

    They’re still there. A part of me. No matter where I go, I carry them with me.

    I briefly touch my right shoulder, and I can feel the thick, raised edges of my scars, hidden beneath my shirt. Stiffening, I lower my hand. My gaze hardens as I look away from the cross, away from the picture of my parents—instead, I narrow my eyes as I watch the flames of the lit candles, shivering as though they can feel the November cold creeping in through the cracks of the rose window.

    Shivering, as though they’re afraid of something.

    Of me. The monster.

    I inhale deeply, but my lungs feel tight. I wrench my gaze away from the candles, blinking a few times to get the colored spots out of my vision, and stare at my reflection in the window instead.

    I’m at the top floor of the Somnus Academy, where I’ve been born and raised. It’s my home. My parents started living here after my father took over the role as principal from my grandfather, a man I can barely remember for he died when I was still little. My brother and I have never known anything else but this.

    It seemed fitting, after our parents’ deaths, to build this small, personal shrine right here; in the living room, where we once came together to eat, to… To be a family, even though a part of me has always felt removed from that concept, like I was an island all on my own. Although my parents and Aiden wanted me to come to theirs, I simply couldn’t cross the sea, no matter how hard I swam. All I did was drift farther and farther away from them.

    From my family. From everyone.

    I can’t remember anything else than that I feel different. Different, from everybody else. And I know it isn’t them. It’s me.

    And this feeling, this knowledge has only grown stronger ever since what happened two years ago. Since I got scarred.

    I am the monster that’s hiding in the shadows. The monster that pretends to be human by fighting the other demons. The monster that lies, every single day, not just to others, but to himself as well.

    You can be more than this, I tell myself over and over again. Deep down, you haven’t changed. You are still their son. You are still Kay Somnus.

    And that name—Kay Somnus—is the sole reason I’m standing here tonight, two years after becoming a Sleepwalker, readying myself for my final exam to become a Summoner, even though I am only fifteen years old. Students are supposed to take their finals at eighteen, but I am not an average student.

    And I will never be an average Summoner either.

    Again, my eyes stray to my right shoulder in the window’s reflection—and that’s when I see him standing there, watching me.

    I turn around to my brother.

    His hair is dark like mine, but where mine’s unruly, his is long and slicked back into a tail at the nape of his neck. He wears an impeccable white collar shirt, black pants, and his shoes are polished to a shine. With twenty-seven he’s twelve years older than I am—the youngest principal of all Summoner academies, and one of the best and youngest Summoners known to the world.

    The way he took over our parents’ role, the way he’s leading the school these days, would’ve made them proud.

    Sometimes, I wish I could tell him that. I know I should. And any other brother would have done that. But I am just his brother by blood—apart from that, I am an island. And no matter how hard I swim, I can’t seem to reach his.

    It’s not his fault. It’s me. All me.

    “It is almost time to leave, little brother,” Aiden says, his voice soft and familiar. He runs a hand over the back of one of the chairs in the left corner of the room, the brown leather soft and worn through time and use. “Are you ready for this?”

    His dark-blue eyes watch me carefully, as though he’s truly concerned, but I know which answer he expects to hear—and he should, since it’s the only answer I’ll ever give him: “I’m ready.”

    I am. Despite the nerves running through me, the unrest buzzing in my body even as I went for a run this morning, even while I was training this afternoon, finding my rhythm as I swung and caught the nunchakus, the chains ringing softly. I am ready.

    “Good.”

    “I should go,” I say, walking over to the coat rack next to the door to get my jacket. I reach for it, but pause as the wooden floor creaks and Aiden suddenly puts his hand on my arm. I look at him, frowning slightly.

    He reaches for his neck and pulls something out from under his shirt. I stare at the silver necklace with its small, gleaming cross that he’s holding out to me. My mouth turns dry. My stomach feels hollow and it’s not just because I barely ate anything tonight.

    “Take it,” Aiden murmurs.

    I stare at it for a long moment, unable to move. It was our mother’s. She always used to wear it, tucked beneath her clothes. For luck, she claimed.

    She also wore it the night she died.

    Luck.

    Such a useless word.

    “No,” I say tightly.

    “She’d want you to wear—”

    “I don’t believe in lucky charms,” I grind out, my voice suddenly rough, unable to look away from the gleaming thing. “You know that.”

    “I do.” Aiden doesn’t lower his hand though, and keeps holding it out to me. “But she gave it to me the night I took my final exam. And I know she would have given it to you too, tonight, if she were still here.” His words are spoken quietly, sounding brittle.

    The death of our parents is a wound. A wound that won’t heal.

    I suddenly feel cold.

    “Let’s continue the tradition, no matter how you feel,” Aiden goes on after a silence. “Please.”

    Please. He hardly uses that word. Aiden is proud. He never begs.

    I tear my gaze away from the necklace to look at him. These days, I’m nearly as tall. His eyes, however, are darker than mine. I can see and feel them scanning every inch of my face.

    “This is your final, Kay,” he says. “Make them proud.”

    His words make me glance over at the altar. Something rises up in me, something that’s cold and hot at once, and there’s a sudden ache in the back of my throat. I reach for the necklace and put it on. The small metal cross still feels warm as I tuck it beneath my shirt.

    I tug my jacket from the coat rack, shrug it on, and move to open the door. Yet before I can, I sense Aiden stepping closer. His shadow falls over me. “Watch yourself tonight,” he quietly warns me. “Don’t expose yourself. What happened last time during your mock exam—you can’t let that happen tonight.”

    I tense, my fingers tightening around the doorknob. “I know,” is all I say.

    “All right.” Aiden pauses. “Good luck, little brother.”

    For a moment, I don’t move. Perhaps I should thank him. Perhaps I should turn around, clasp his hand, or embrace him.

    That’s probably what anybody else would’ve done in a situation like this.

    But I—I simply can’t. I don’t know how to.

    I know what’s expected of me, a person, a human being. But it’s not who I am. I can’t take this step. I can’t cross this bridge, I can’t close this distance.

    Blood and brotherhood. I know what it means, and yet, somehow, it’s out of my reach.

    When I was little, Aiden used to pick me up, carry me on his back, and embrace me. Our parents, too. My father patted me on the head. My mother kissed me on the cheek. But I never hugged any of them back. I never went over to them myself to hold their hand or snuggle up to them, like I saw other children do. It never felt natural.

    Maybe my heart is a closed-off thing.

    I don’t know. I don’t know any better than being this way—and still… I do feel like, sometimes, I’m missing something everybody else seems to have.

    But I’m different. I lose myself in books; fiction and non-fiction, it doesn’t matter to me. I lose myself in endless hours filled with training. I lose myself in sparring fights, I lose myself in perfecting every Light spell I’ve been taught and those I taught myself. I lose myself in practical things, and not in emotions.

    I’m different—and so, I don’t say anything to Aiden as I open the door, and leave without looking back.

 

+ + +

 

The Somnus Academy is never truly quiet. The students are in bed, and so are the Summoners who are off-duty, but all the others are still out and about to either make their rounds in the city, or to sit in vigil when it’s their watch, awaiting the ever-possible emergency call that signals a Nightprowler attack.

    The same goes for tonight—but now, for the first time, I truly seem to notice how many people are still milling about.

    I slow to a halt at the foot of the wooden stairs. The entrance hall is large, with a Gothic rib-vault ceiling, and a large clock with Roman numerals. Earthenware vases line the terracotta-colored walls, though I can barely see those—there aren’t supposed to be this many people here.

    My frown deepens as my gaze skips over their faces, until I finally find the two I’m looking for:

    Martha Bates, forty years old, dark-blond hair that frames her face. Unmarried and no children. Former student of the Somnus Academy, who then became a Theory-lesson teacher. A strong soldier and also a mentor; every single student she takes under her wing grows out to be a great Summoner.

    Owen Radcliff. Seventeen years old. Short-cropped hair, broadly built, jeans stuffed into his army boots. Has already passed several mock-exams with flying colors, and is waiting for his eighteenth birthday so he can take his final, as are the rules. Has been scouted by one of the Somnus Academy’s talent scouts at twelve, when he apparently stood up for a boy who got bullied by defending him when he got attacked. Wants to be a teacher at the academy once he graduates, and these days he’s trying out for becoming a martial arts instructor. He’s Martha Bates’ best pupil.

    I know all about everyone who works here, as well as the top-students.

    Bates and Radcliff will accompany me tonight, to oversee my final exam.

    I want to walk over to them, but hesitate. Aiden and Abel Anderson—family friend and the school’s vice principal—came with me during my mock exam last September. That has been the last time I’ve been up against a Nightprowler. I did pass the exam, but not the way a Summoner is supposed to.

    I can’t let that happen again tonight. I can’t afford to slip up.

    Not tonight. Not with them.

    Drawing in a steadying breath, I make my way over to Martha Bates and Owen Radcliff.

    “There you are.” Bates smiles. “Are you ready to leave?”

    I nod.

    Her smile widens before she steps away, leading us to the back exit to leave the building.

    Radcliff falls into step beside me. “Just ignore everybody else,” he murmurs to me.

    I frown at him.

    He raises an eyebrow and gestures around the entrance hall. “Haven’t you noticed all these people? They’re all here to see you off—if you pass your final tonight, you’ll be the youngest Summoner in history.”

    Normally, it’s not allowed for someone younger than eighteen to become a full-time Summoner—but since I am Kay Somnus

    I quickly scan the hallway, again noticing the absurd amount of people gathered here. But now I actually feel their eyes linger on me. Some offer me a smile, while others fold their arms and shoot me skeptic looks.

    I stiffen under the attention, but then Martha Bates has already opened the door of the back exit and we step outside. We cross the parking lot, lit by multiple streetlights, passing dozens of black, gleaming academy cars. It’s late November and cold air bites into my cheeks, but I barely feel the chill. Nervous energy courses through me, and my jacket feels too warm. Stifling.

    Sliding into the backseat of the car Martha Bates has just unlocked, I briefly wonder if Aiden is watching me from the rose window on the top floor; I can feel the metal of the cross rest against my skin.

    But it does not feel like a wish for good luck.

    It feels like a warning.

 


 

— KAY SOMNUS contains 5 chapters in total. Want to read on? Pre-order the eBook on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes&Noble or Smashwords, and start reading on the day of the release!

 

I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek!

Coming up next week: the first chapter of FILE #3: ALAIN SOMNUS

 

Thank you for reading! ?

 

…Hey! Did you notice? The cover for The Insomnia Files has had a tiny update! The title is now red instead of white, so it’s more in line with INSOMNIA — I think it looks even cooler this way 😀

 

BE CREEPY. STAY FREAKY.

— Lynn

 

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Posted by Lynn Robin in Insomnia Saga, 2 comments
DECEMBER 2019 Writing Update: releasing JODI COLLINS, finishing NOCTURNE, and merry Christmas

DECEMBER 2019 Writing Update: releasing JODI COLLINS, finishing NOCTURNE, and merry Christmas

Dear Sleepwalkers,

It is time to say goodbye to December, and what a month it has been.

I don’t know about you guys, but every year, instead of slowing down, I tend to channel some extra “fuel” to power through the last month — just to get all those last things done, just to do something extra, all so I can take a deep breath at the end and look back at the year feeling like I really accomplished something.

Well, this year has been the same… but am I happy will all that I’ve done this last month of the year? Read on!

 

2000_MU_InsomniaFile_Jodi

• New release: The Insomnia Files, File #1: JODI COLLINS

This month I released my very first international publication — a prequel especially written for first-time Insomnia Saga readers, a short story about the series’ main protagonist, Jodi Collins.

It was really exciting, for I’ve been looking forward to this for months, maybe even a year, and I already wrote this short story back in July, so it was awesome to finally see it turn into an actual eBook 🙂

In case you’ve missed it — The Insomnia Files, File #1: JODI COLLINS is available as a free eBook! You can find the download link you prefer and more information about the story right here.

Did you know that the story actually takes place on Christmas Eve? So, if you haven’t read it already, perhaps you should tonight! 😉

 

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• Editing: INSOMNIA

This month my team and I finished another round of editing INSOMNIA, the first book in the Insomnia Saga, which will be published February 11th 2020!

I’m really enjoying the editing process, but, to be honest, I don’t mind that we’re taking a few weeks off for now 😉 We’ll be back for the last round in January, but during the holidays we’re taking it easy!

 

• Writing: the last chapters of NOCTURNE

If you’ve been following me on either this blog or social media, you probably haven’t missed the fact that I’ve been working on the second installment of the Insomnia Saga, NOCTURNE, ever since September.

Working on this book has been awesome, but like I said in my writing update back in November, it’s been a bit of a “bumpy ride”, since I couldn’t work on it full time. I rewrote the first book, INSOMNIA, halfway the writing process, gave my site a huge makeover and update, had to do some work for the publication of JODI COLLINS as well as the promotion of it, and I also had to edit the manuscript of INSOMNIA…

So, actually, I never expected to be able to finish NOCTURNE before the end of the year.

Yet, somehow, I did!

I’m not sure how I did it, to be honest — but like I said on social media last week, when inspiration strikes, it strikes hard, and that somehow gave me this amazing writing-boost 😀 I wrote about 16 chapters in two weeks, and last Thursday I finished the project.

Finishing a novel always is the greatest feeling. I swear, it’s magic. And the same goes for finishing NOCTURNE, because really, this book was intense. It’s kind of hard to talk about it—or not talk about it—, since INSOMNIA hasn’t even been released yet, and I don’t want to give away any spoilers. However, I can safely say that I’ve learned a lot from writing this book, along with my characters who also learned some valuable lessons themselves, and despite the very dark, sinister themes of this book, I had loads of fun writing every single sentence 😉

I already sent out a message on social media, but I just want to say it again: The last day writing this book has been especially fun thanks to all the encouraging messages I got from readers and fellow writers all over the world, while I was furiously typing away on my laptop; it was awesome to hear from you all! Thank you 🙂

 

• Sit back and relax: it’s almost Christmas!

After all this hard work, I’ve decided to take a break for a couple of weeks, just to replenish my energy, read some books, play video games… well, to simply do all those fun and lazy things you sometimes just really need to do, right?

Also, tomorrow it’s Christmas! I want to wish you all a merry Christmas; I hope you have a lovely time, no matter however and with whoever you spend it.

 

With this, I’m going to end my last writing update of 2019.

Coming up next week however, is a blog post in which I’ll look back at this year and give an overview of all the things I’ve done, learned, and accomplished this last twelve months, and with the start of the new year I’ll also share a post in which I’m going to tell you about what bookish things you can expect from me in 2020 😀 I hope to see you here on my blog!

But until then…

Have a happy Christmas. Sit back and relax. Read a book (may I suggest my Insomnia Saga short story? …VERY subtle, right?). Enjoy life. Celebrate winter. (Or take notes like a maniac for your next project, as I’ll probably be doing :P)

Feel free to leave a message; I love hearing from you!

 

Have you subscribed to this blog yet? If you haven’t, please scroll all the way up, and then you’ll find the subscribe button to your right. Simply leave your email address, confirm your subscription, and you’ll be notified of all my book releases, announcements, monthly writing updates, looks behind the scenes, and more! Thank you 🙂

 

BE CREEPY. STAY FREAKY.

— Lynn

Posted by Lynn Robin in Writing Updates, 6 comments
OUT NOW | FREE EBOOK: The Insomnia Files: FILE #1 JODI COLLINS (Insomnia Saga 0.1)

OUT NOW | FREE EBOOK: The Insomnia Files: FILE #1 JODI COLLINS (Insomnia Saga 0.1)

“Surround me with Light and give me strength; this shield is my protection and my weapon”

 

It’s finally here! The Insomnia Files: FILE #1 JODI COLLINS is a prequel to the Insomnia Saga, an action-packed Dark Fantasy Upper Young Adult series, set in a fictional modern world, where people can wield actual Light as a weapon which they use to fight the greatest enemy of mankind—demons, called the Nightprowlers.

JODI COLLINS is a prequel short story especially written for first-time Insomnia Saga readers, introducing the main character, Jodi Collins. This short story takes place 4 years prior to the first book in the series, INSOMNIA.

Best of all? It’s a FREE download!

 

 

• FREE EBOOK: The Insomnia Files, FILE #1: JODI COLLINS (Insomnia Saga #0.1)

 

 

“Don’t make a sound,” I whisper.

Peering through the shelves, I can’t take my eyes off the giant on the other side. It’s a creature with an oval-shaped head, a slender body, elongated arms, hands with pointy fingers, and long legs with which it takes big, silent steps.

Like a two-legged spider, hunting for its prey.

 

For first-time Insomnia Saga readers

 

A Nightprowler marked her and covered her in scars that will forever stigmatize her as an outcast:

A Sleepwalker.

A year after the attack, thirteen-year old Jodi Collins starts working for the Summoners to keep herself and her parents alive in this new, brutal life of discrimination and hate.

The Summoners are a worldwide army that have been fighting the Nightprowlers for centuries—and by working for them, Jodi will be forced to fight these creatures responsible for ruining her future.

On a dark, wintery night, Jodi is sent on a mission to find a young missing boy. The clock is ticking—if she’s too late, he will end up the same as her.

A toy store. A maze of dolls and monsters.

A world where light and darkness collide.

Jodi has to prove herself and overcome her greatest fear:

confronting the demons of the Night. And fight them.

[This short story takes place four years prior to the first book in the series, INSOMNIA.]

 

 

>>>IT’S A FREE EBOOK! DOWNLOAD NOW!<<<

 

  • This eBook also contains a sample of the first few chapters of INSOMNIA!

 

 


I hope you will enjoy this short story, and that Jodi will manage to capture your heart as she did mine 🙂 And, of course, I hope it’ll make you guys look forward to the release of INSOMNIA, on February 11th 2020, in which Jodi’s story will truly begin — as well as give you more background info about her life and what the fight against the Nightprowlers is truly about.

 

Are you ready to become a Summoner?

 

Thank you for reading!

 

— Lynn

 

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Posted by Lynn Robin in Insomnia Saga, News, 4 comments