What the... where the hell am I?

You look around, completely dazed. You’ve walked through the portal, but unlike last time, you didn’t end up back in your home. You’re standing in a dark space, just one glowing—and floating?—lightbulb giving off a faint light. All you see ahead of you is darkness and the faint shape of a cloaked figure.

 

Ah, that must be Iris.

 

“Where are we?” you ask.

 

The hooded figure shifts, looks up underneath the hood, and your blood runs cold. Two glowing red orbs are staring back at you.

 

“I—Iris? Is that you?” You take a step back, your hands shaking.

 

“Trespasser,” the cloaked figure says in a deep, booming voice that makes your skin crawl. “You are not allowed here.” The figure takes a step in your direction.

 

Well, shit. I knew I shouldn’t have gone through the portal. I knew I shouldn’t have gone along with all of this.

 

“I’m sorry,” you start, “just tell me where I am and I’ll go.”

 

“You cannot leave once you’ve entered this place.” The figure steps closer, faster now. “No.” Another step. “One.” Step. “LEAVES.”

 

With a giant leap, the figure stands before you. You hold your hands up and start to scream.

 

Then the figure throws back the hood.

 

It is Iris.

 

“Psych!” I laugh. “You should’ve seen your face.”

 

Your place your hand over your heart, still panting from the sudden encounter.

 

“What? You wanted something more thrilling, didn’t you?” I cock my head. “You do need to work on your hero-act, though. You kinda cowered away there.”

 

“Well, yeah, you scared me, with those red eyes and that voice. I thought you were going to kill me!” Suddenly you look up. The light has brightened and you can now see where you are. You’re in a round chamber, and the walls are filled with hundreds upon hundreds of books. Even as you look up, you can’t see the end of it. “Where are we anyway?”

 

I give you a wide smile and spread my arms. “This,” I say as I turn around, “is my sanctuary. And also a little bit my worst nightmare.” I sigh. “Just so many books… not enough time…”

 

Images of being buried underneath the pile of books flash through your mind. You quickly shake them off.

 

“But yes… you need some guidance on how to be a hero. Hmm…” I pout my lips and place my finger against them. “Ah!” I raise my finger and walk toward the shelves. I pull out a book. “Catch!”

 

Without further warning, I throw the book at you, and you barely catch it before it hits the ground. It’s Red Sister by Mark Lawrence.

 

“You can click the link for a full review! Remember the lesson from the last email?” I wave my hands in the air, an almost frantic expression on my face. “It’s a great book about a somewhat murderous girl, who trains to become an assassin nun. I know that doesn’t sound very heroic, but… just read it, and you’ll find out (not before checking out the review and first chapter preview, though. Don’t forget!).

 

“If you want something a bit more…” I wave my hand in circles. “… lighthearted and classic fantasy-ish, then you should read Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings” I throw you another book, but this time you were prepared, and you catch it easily.

 

“For more of a hero and romance combination, you should check out this one.” I throw you another book.

 

But your hands are full.

 

As fast as you can, you place the other books on the ground, and barely catch the flying rectangle on time, before the corner pokes out your eye. The title reads Soul Bearer by Elexis Bell.

 

“An Indie book too, that one. They could really use your support!”

 

To your horror, you see I haven’t stopped searching. “I think this is enough recommendations. Really. No need to throw anything else.”

 

I turn, swiftly. My eyes glow read. “It’s enough when I say it’s enough,” I say in the same deep, vibrating voice as before.

 

You blink. Swallow. And remain silent.

 

“I still need to throw you a typical YA dystopian urban fantasy kind of novel. And let’s not forget sci-fi, eh?” I throw two books at you in rapid succession.

 

You manage to catch the first one, but, once again, your hands are full, and there’s just no more time. The book sores through the air, and you close your eyes, crouch, and hold your hands out to protect yourself.

 

But nothing happens.

 

Carefully, you open your eyes. The book is in front of you, floating. You stare at me and the smug smile on my face. “What? You didn’t actually think I would risk damaging those books, did you?”

 

Slowly, you release a breath. This just has been too much excitement for one day. You look at the book you caught. The Threshing by Tim Grahl.

 

“That’s the YA dystopian fantasy/sci-fi book. Somewhat similar to the Hunger Games, if that’s something you enjoy reading.”

 

The other book, floating in front of you, reads Echoes of the Storm by Charlene Newcomb.

 

“And that one is a sci-fi, Star Wars-like adventure, with some romance added as well. Nothing incesty though, unlike Star Wars.

 

Well, I hope that was exciting enough for you! And that one or more of these books are to your liking. Be sure to let me know! I’d love to discuss it with you.

 

By now, you should also have the next email in your inbox, titled “When you’re a geek…

 

We’re gonna smash some reader-stereotypes!

 

See you soon.”