Spotlight On: Thunderstone, by Barbara Pietron

Thunderstone by Barbara Pietron

Genre: YA paranormal romance

Published: November 12, 2013

Sneaking out at night, driving without a license, and falling for a guy weren’t things fifteen-year-old Jeni expected to do while visiting Lake Itasca, Minnesota.  Then she meets Ice, the local medicine man’s apprentice.  Suddenly, her simple family gathering becomes an exciting – and terrifying – week of self-discovery.  At first Jeni doesn’t believe Ice’s claim that she can touch the spirit world and has somehow released a mythical underwater monster. However, she’s forced to reconsider when a teen swears a monster killed his father while fishing on the lake. Just as she comes to accept truth, Jeni finds she is the only one who can imprison the monster, making her the creature’s next target.  She’ll need immense faith in her newfound ability to put herself in harm’s way and face down the monster.  And even if she succeeds in delivering the local population – and Ice – from the creature’s wrath, there is no guarantee Jeni will escape with her own life.

The Prequel:
Heart of Ice by Barbara Pietron
Heart of Ice Excerpt:
Ice’s ankle was held fast in a
large leg-hold trap. He groaned as the metal teeth seemed to press deeper into
his skin and grate on his bones. Stooping, he attempted to pull the jaws of the
trap open and release his foot, but was unable to get the right leverage. Teeth
gritted against the pain radiating up his leg, Ice dug his phone from his
pocket then heard the crunching sound of footsteps. “I’m here,” he shouted,
relieved that the medicine man had heard his cry.
He waited as the footsteps drew
near, calling out again.
But the figure that emerged from
the forest wasn’t the medicine man.
It was Nesbitt.
            And he
carried an axe.
Horror engulfed Ice and he froze
momentarily, his thoughts scrambling for a means of defense. He had no weapon.
No bear spray. Nothing. Then he realized he still held his phone in his hand
and fumbled it in his numbed, shaking fingers.
Nesbitt was making his way through
the trees quickly. Humming.
Ice thumbed to the contacts in his
phone and found his favorites. He glanced up and realized Nesbitt’s eyes glowed
with an odd, yellowish hue from out of his emaciated skull. He managed to get
his thumb on Nik’s name before the demented man smashed into him.
Dropping the phone to free his
hands, Ice grabbed Nesbitt’s arm that held the axe and shoved it away from him
as he fell. Before the man could topple onto him, Ice scurried backward,
yowling in pain as the trap bit harder into his ankle bone. He’d reached the
end of the chain fastened to a tree and the more he jerked against it, the
tighter the jaws clamped down on his leg.
Nesbitt rose first to his knees and
then to his feet, in no hurry since he knew his prey was tethered.
Ice crawled sideways using his
elbows and feet, although he realized if he wrapped the chain around the tree,
it would only grow shorter. His hands clawed the ground around him, searching
for a branch or stick, anything he might be able to swing at Nesbitt.
The madman moved forward, breathing
heavily and drooling. Ice found a stick and wrapped his fingers around it,
yanking it from the dead foliage. He jabbed at the man as he came forward and
yelled in despair as the stick snapped easily.
A foot rammed into Ice’s chest and
he hit the ground hard, gasping for breath. Before he could rise to his elbows,
the foot pressed down with force, pinning him. “Don’t do this,” Ice
begged, his voice ragged. “Mr. Nesbitt!” he shouted.”Please
don’t do this!” He hoped somewhere inside the crazed man a person still
resided: a teacher, a human who wouldn’t kill another human.
Nesbitt paused for a second, his
face blank, eyes distant. Then he rasped, “Hungry,” and swung the


Thunderstone Excerpt:
     Ice sat motionless, staring at his knees.
How had he managed to make such a mess of things?  He’d felt comfortable with Jeni and her
family too; thought the evening had progressed smoothly.
     Then he’d looked down into Jeni’s upturned
face and lost it. Despite the smoky bonfire, he could smell her; the fragrance
of an apple orchard in the fall. Then his gaze fell to her glossy, ripe lips
and the reasonable explanation he had in mind vanished. Instead he’d just
blurted something out and completely blew it.
     With a heavy sigh, Ice stood. His
footsteps dragged as he headed between the cottages to the resort drive.
     Engulfed in despair, Ice didn’t register
the whisper until it came the second time. He turned to see Jeni’s head poked
out the side door. She edged outside when she saw him stop. She took a step
toward the porch rail. “I’m sorry. I overreacted.” She hugged her
arms around her torso.  “I…I do that
sometimes. I should’ve at least given you a chance to explain why you wanted my
     Ice moved closer. “Yeah…well, I
didn’t mean to say…ask…not like that.” Jeni watched him, waiting.  Ice took a deep breath. “Thing is,
you’re not going to like the explanation anyway.”
     “Well,” she contemplated the toe
of her shoe as she bounced it on the rail. “I can’t promise I’ll like it,
but I’ll listen.” When she looked up she wore the ghost of a smile.
     Ice searched her face and thought for a
long moment. No more lies; time to lay the cards on the table.  He wasn’t hopeful for any particular outcome,
only resigned to do what he felt was right. “I owe you a story about the
monster your statue represents, don’t I?”
     She nodded slowly, wearing a puzzled
     “Let’s start there then.” So he told her how long ago, when the
underwater monster swam freely, the people were plagued by bad fishing,
overturned canoes, and children drawn under by whirlpools when they went
swimming. “Eventually,”
Ice explained, “the medicine men of neighboring tribes joined together to
lure the creature here. They trapped him in a cavern near the sacred burial
mounds of Lake Itasca and charmed him to sleep.” Ice paused, and then
finished his story with the events of the past two days. “Then, about a
hundred years later, a priestess…” He stopped to look at her, “…buys an
artifact and falls into the water with it in her pocket. Her connection to the
spirits combined with the power of the statue wakes the underwater monster. So
the local medicine man sends his apprentice to find the girl and get the statue
back. If he fails, the monster will likely escape and people will start
     Jeni narrowed her eyes at him for a moment
and then laughed. “I get it. Cute. You made it sound like I was part of
the story.”
     Ice maintained a level stare. “You are
part of the story.”

About the Author

After years in the corporate world, Barbara found herself with a second chance to decide what she wanted to be when she grew up.  Her lifetime love of books and the written word returned one answer: writer.  Drawing from her experience with technical writing, she began by writing non-fiction magazine pieces and achieved both regional and national publication.  Her success encouraged her to complete a novel.  She learned much from her first manuscript, critiques, books, contests, and blogs.  In 2012, her novel Thunderstone, was a quarterfinalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest and won a critique by Publisher’s Weekly.  A few months later, she was offered publication by Scribe Publishing Company.

Barbara has a few other novels in the works, including a Thunderstone sequel. If she’s not reading or writing, Barbara likes to walk, garden, and sew.  She works in a library and lives in Royal Oak, Michigan with her husband, daughter, and their cat – who often acts like a dog.

Find Barbara online:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Win a new young adult novel!

(Before it’s in stores!)
Barbara Pietron, author of Thunderstone, is running a contest to title her next novel.
If your title idea is chosen as one of the top four
suggestions, you will win the book!
Here’s how it works:
Based on the cover summary below, you
think of an amazing title. You know, the kind of title that compels a potential
reader to take the book off the shelf.
Then go to
and click on the
News/Events page. You
can make your suggestion in the comment section of the post about the contest,
or click on the link which will take you to the Scribe Publishing website
suggestion form. Your email will be added to Barbara’s
list so she can keep you in the loop about the contest and the book.
If your suggestion is chosen as a top
four, you will win the new novel! Those top four entries will be posted for
readers to vote on their favorite. If your suggestion becomes the book title,
you’ll be mentioned in the book!
Jack Ironwood knew exactly what he wanted. Until he got it.
was content to stay unnoticed by pretty and popular track-star, Natalie
Segetich, until her best friend Emma disappears. Natalie swears something took
Emma, and though most people write Natalie off as traumatized and confused,
Jack is a soulshifter and he knows the human-stealing Enuuki—hell’s
messengers—are real.
As a
soulshifter, Jack can cross into the underworld so he sees Emma’s rescue as an
opportunity to prove himself a valuable member of his transcendental sect—and a
way to secure a future otherwise out of his reach. Although he needs Natalie’s
help to prepare for the mission, Jack intends to go to the underworld alone.
But as a viable plan takes shape, it’s clear the best chance of success means
Natalie must accompany him.
the eve of the quest, when Jack is promised the hand of a respected elder’s
daughter—a dream come true—he realizes he’s no longer sure what he wants. But
it’s too late to back out, not with the sect and Natalie counting on him.
Pursued by the dark lord’s henchmen and ghastly mutant creatures, Jack and
Natalie struggle to come out ahead in a battle and barter for souls. In the
end, Jack will have to decide his own fate, because nothing short of a deal
with the devil will get all three of them out of hell alive.
Part one of the contest will run through
January 31st, 2015 and the voting will take place in February.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s