RATGIRL: Song of the Viper
Publication date: January, 2014
Sixteen-year-old streetwise orphan, Jax Stone is an expert at surviving in a dangerous city, where rats rival the homeless for food and shelter, but she’s an amateur at fighting the immoral mayor when he kidnaps her little brother. Desperation demands she quickly master the role of courageous opponent. She uses her hypnotic singing voice to lead rats to their death, and all the children to safety, in a dying city cursed by the deadly sun.
The tea light on the floor next to Andy casts his shadow, huge and ominous, on the bare, cracked plaster wall, as he plays with something.
The floor groans beneath my boot, where Rafe patched the rotted board with a flattened piece of tin.
Turning, Andy asks, "Please? Can I keep him?"
"Who?" I search for a stray cat or a starving puppy left alone after its master died in the savage streets.
Andy slowly scoots to one side.
A white rat with a black face and pink ears begs before him, a forepaw waving in the air.
Andy shares his last piece of dried olive bread with it.
"Shoo, get out of here." I stomp my foot and shake my fingers toward the long-tailed rodent.
The rat jerks its head at the sound. Its eyes widen, one red and one black, and it turns in the opposite direction, hesitant to leave its promised treat.
"Don't hurt him," cries Andy. "He's my friend."
"Rats are not your friends!" I cross my arms.
"This rat is different, Jax. He even has a name. I call him Squeakers, because he squeaks when he talks to me."
"Don't be silly. He squeaks because that's what rats do before they bite you."
About the Author
Gayle C. Krause is a member of SCBWI, YALITCHAT and The Cliffhouse YA Wonderwriters.She writes across the genres. Her first publication credit was a short story in Chicken Soup for the Kid’s Soul 2 (2006). The Storyteller’s Daughter, her YA historical short story, was featured in Timeless, A YA Historical Romance anthology from Pugalicious Press (2012).Her new YA novel, RATGIRL: Song of the Viper was published in February 2013 (Noble Young Adult).
During the course of her writing career Ms. Krause has served as assistant editor for Underneath the Juniper Tree, a dark fantasy online magazine developed for young teens, a children’s book reviewer for Children’s Literature .com and she offers a critique service for children’s writers at First Peek Critique. (www.gayleckrause.com)
She also runs a blog that encourages new children’s writers through contests, book reviews and author interviews. http://thestorytellersscroll.blogspot.com.