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Dream Warriors: Joey Cola, #1

Dream Warriors: Joey Cola, #1

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Dream Warriors: Joey Cola, #1

Length:
334 pages
4 hours
Released:
May 24, 2016
ISBN:
9781622534142
Format:
Book

Description

In the dream world, everyone is not what they appear to be.

  • WINNER: Pinnacle Book Achievement Award, Fall 2015 -- Best Young Adult Fiction

Joseph Colafranceschi is a fifteen-year-old, self-described geek, living in the Bronx. The second youngest of twelve sons of the former U.S. ambassador to Italy, Joey discovers that a small Egyptian statuette, given to him by his father, endows him with power to control his dreams.

After his brothers throw him down a manhole, Joey is drawn into a hidden society of warriors who have been battling a reincarnated Egyptian Pharaoh for over 3,000 years. In the dream world, it's impossible to tell who to trust. As Joey slips deeper into a world of gladiator battles and clandestine missions within other people's dreams, he catches the eye of a beautiful Egyptian princess.

The only thing that keeps him grounded in reality is his best friend Alex, but even she may not be who he thought she was.

EVOLVED PUBLISHING PRESENTS the first book in the "Joey Cola" series of YA Urban Fantasy adventures. [DRM-Free]

INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR:

Q: What made you want to write a young adult urban fantasy series?

A: When I was a kid there was no such thing as YA fantasy. We had some books for kids, like the Hardy Boys series (which I devoured,) but for the most part, if you wanted fantasy, you read what the adults were reading. But nowadays the adult stuff can be a little extreme, so I wanted to write a young adult fantasy novel that teens would love, with all the action, adventure and even a touch of romance, but I didn't want something I wouldn't want my teens reading.

Q: Is this the first book in a planned fantasy series for teens?

A: Yes. I'm really enjoying my foray into young adult urban fantasy and have some fun ideas for sequels. My plan is to make this a trilogy.

Q: How do you define Teen Urban Fantasy?

A: That's a really good question. A quick perusal of the titles online will show a pretty large variation in the types of books shelved under this category. Many seem to be geared more towards moms than their kids. I'd probably say the Joey Cola series is more of a teen fantasy adventure with an urban flavor to it. Urban meaning it's in a modern setting (NewYork City) but also much of the story takes place in what I call the dream world—a place where the laws of physics don't apply.

Q: Do you have any other books written, besides this young adult fantasy trilogy?

A: Yes, I have a middle-grade science fiction trilogy, called "Noah Zarc", and an epic fantasy called "Shadow Swarm."

MORE GREAT YA BOOKS FROM EVOLVED PUBLISHING:

  • The "Chosen" Series by Jeff Altabef and Erynn Altabef
  • The "David Rose" Series by Daryl Rothman
  • The "Essence of Ohr" Series by Parris Sheets
  • The "Whitewashed" Series by Adelaide Thorne
  • The "Stormbourne Chronicles" Series by Karissa Laurel​

 

Released:
May 24, 2016
ISBN:
9781622534142
Format:
Book

About the author

My whole life, I’ve loved hearing and reading stories, and creating worlds of my own. As a child, I spent countless hours drawing crazy contraptions on paper, or building vast fortresses in a sand pile behind my garage. There was hardly a time I wasn’t off on some adventure in my mind, to the dismay of parents and teachers alike. So it’s no big surprise I took all that daydreaming, all that longing to really see the wonder of creation around me, and started pouring it into discovering hidden universes in my own mind. For quite a few years I tried my hand at writing, mostly working on one, massive fantasy novel, but it wasn’t until I had kids and they became voracious readers that I found my passion. There’s no greater audience than a child. I’d rather have a simple review from a kid that says, “Awesome book!” than a five-star review in the New York Times. Of course, if anyone at the Times wants to try to prove me wrong, I’d be willing to let you. To receive newsletter announcements related to D. Robert Pease’s new releases, please visit http://www.drobertpease.com/About-the-Author/New-Releases-Newsletter


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~~~

DREAM WARRIORS

A Joey Cola Novel – Book 1

Copyright © 2014 D. Robert Pease

~~~

ISBN (EPUB Version): 162253414X

ISBN-13 (EPUB Version): 978-1-62253-414-2

~~~

Assistant Editor: William Hampton

Chief Editor: Lane Diamond

Cover Artist: D. Robert Pease

~~~

PUBLISHER’S NOTE:

At the end of this novel of approximately 64,616 words, you will find two Special Sneak Previews: 1) NOAH ZARC: MAMMOTH TROUBLE by D. Robert Pease, the multiple-award-winning first novel from the Noah Zarc series of time travel sci-fi adventures, and; 2) THE AWAKENING OF DAVID ROSE by Daryl Rothman, the award-winning first book in the exciting David Rose series of young adult fantasies. We think you’ll enjoy these books, too, and provide these previews as a FREE extra service, which you should in no way consider a part of the price you paid for this book. We hope you will both appreciate and enjoy the opportunity. Thank you.

~~~

eBook License Notes:

You may not use, reproduce or transmit in any manner, any part of this book without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations used in critical articles and reviews, or in accordance with federal Fair Use laws. All rights are reserved.

This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only; it may not be resold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you're reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, please return to your eBook retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

~~~

Disclaimer:

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author's imagination, or the author has used them fictitiously.

Books by D. Robert Pease

~~~

YOUNG ADULT SCIENCE FICTION (Suitable for Readers Aged 11+)

Noah Zarc Trilogy

Book 1: Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble

Book 2: Noah Zarc: Cataclysm

Book 3: Noah Zarc: Declaration

Special Edition: Noah Zarc: Omnibus/Boxed Set

Prequel Short Story: Noah Zarc: Roswell Incident

~~~

SCIENCE FICTION (Suitable for Readers Aged 13+)

Exodus Chronicles

Book 1: Enslaved

Book 2: Red Sea

Book 3: Promised Land

~~~

YOUNG ADULT URBAN FANTASY (Suitable for Readers Aged 13+)

Joey Cola Series

Book 1: Dream Warriors

Book 2: Cleopatra Rising

~~~

EPIC FANTASY

Shadow Swarm

~~~

www.DRobertPease.com

BONUS OFFER

Get your FREE eBook of the Noah Zarc prequel,

and find out what really happened outside of

Roswell New Mexico in 1947.

~~~

Get started here:

www.drobertpease.com/MailingList

BONUS CONTENT

We’re pleased to offer you not one, but two Special Sneak Previews at the end of this book.

~~~

In the first preview, you’ll enjoy the First 2 Chapters of NOAH ZARC: MAMMOTH TROUBLE by D. Robert Pease, the multiple-award-winning first novel from the Noah Zarc series of time travel sci-fi adventures.

~~~

~~~

OR GRAB THE FULL EBOOK TODAY!

FIND LINKS TO YOUR FAVORITE RETAILER HERE:

NOAH ZARC Series at Evolved Publishing

In the second preview, you’ll enjoy the Prologue and First 3 Chapters of THE AWAKENING OF DAVID ROSE by Daryl Rothman, the award-winning first book in the exciting David Rose series of young adult fantasies.

~~~

~~~

OR GRAB THE FULL EBOOK TODAY!

YOU’LL FIND LINKS TO YOUR FAVORITE RETAILER HERE:

DAVID ROSE Series at Evolved Publishing

Table of Contents

Copyright

Books by D. Robert Pease

BONUS CONTENT

Dedication

DREAM WARRIORS

Prologue

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Chapter Thirty

Chapter Thirty-One

Special Sneak Preview: NOAH ZARC: MAMMOTH TROUBLE by D. Robert Pease

Acknowledgements

About the Author

More from D. Robert Pease

More from Evolved Publishing

Special Sneak Preview: THE AWAKENING OF DAVID ROSE by Daryl Rothman

Dedication

To Donna, whose love of books is even greater than my own.

Be glad you don’t have to read under a blanket with a flashlight anymore.

DREAM WARRIORS

Prologue

The crowd roared when he stepped onto the field. He turned in a full circle taking in the adoration of his fans. No one knew how many people filled the stands—some said millions—but now they all cheered for him and chanted his name: Goliath. Goliath! GOLIATH!

No one would be surprised to hear he was undefeated in the arena, and well on his way to being the greatest warrior the dream world had ever known. After all, his whole life had prepared him for this time and this place.

Every child in the neighborhood idolized him as a kid. There was no indecision when it came to what they should do on any given day. If he said it, they did it. Football was his game of choice in the back-lot fields of L.A. None of that namby-pamby flag football, either. Real football involved pain, and any kid who argued got to stand across the line of scrimmage from him. This carried on through high school, where he led his team to three straight state titles. Sure, some kids ended up getting squashed under his impressive frame, but they learned what life was about—the strong rising to the top while everyone else supported them any way they could.

His mamma always told him he could be anything in life. Even with an IQ off the charts, he loathed sitting in a classroom, studying calculus or physics or any other dusty old book. They bored him to tears. More than anywhere else, he felt at home on the football field.

The glory began to fade a bit in college. Guys like him filled Big Ten schools—huge, mean, and eager to show the NFL their worth—but he still held his own. In high school he coasted by, but in college he actually had to work to maintain a B average, especially in the later years—grades just didn’t interest him. It crushed his mamma to see him struggling, but she didn’t know the whole story. There were moments when he felt on top of the world, as he stood in the lights and listened to the roar of the crowd—moments that defined his place in the universe.

None of that compared to this arena.

When he first discovered the dream world, he wasn’t sure if he believed the old man who said it was just as real as his old life, but once he stepped onto the field of battle, it didn’t matter all that much.

He stood twenty feet tall with shoulders six feet wide, towering over nearly every opponent he faced.

Today’s victims appeared in the far archways.

The crowd hardly noticed when a massive, mechanical death machine thundered onto the grassy field. Standing as tall as Goliath, the robotic mech bristled with weapons: fifty caliber guns, cannons, and rocket launchers. These mixed battles—a blend of medieval, magic and modern—could be tricky, but he’d faced opponents like this before. He needed to find its weakness. There was always a weakness.

Another strode forward, his head held high, until he saw Goliath standing across from him. To most, the minotaur with rippling muscles beneath shaggy tufts of hair, and intricate tattoos featuring mystical symbols all over his deep red skin, would have been intimidating, but the creature’s face fell at the sight of his opponent. They had faced each other before, and Goliath always came out on top.

Finally, a small flame-haired woman inched onto the field. Her face grew ashen when she saw the crowd, and appeared ready to flee at the first provocation.

He didn’t recognize her, but there was always some wildcard opponent in these final matches. She’d probably pee her pants, or puke the moment they faced each other. He’d have to save that pleasure for last.

He readied his first charge, but before he moved the minotaur leapt forward. Blue fire arced between his horns and the creature surged toward Goliath.

Figured he’d take me off guard, thought Goliath. He drew the long sword strapped to his back and charged.

A hot, blue ball of energy coursed along the minotaur’s arms, the tattoos lighting up in a brilliant flare as he thrust out his hands.

The flames rocketed toward Goliath, who strode forward with sword swinging. Fire met his blade and swallowed the giant. Of course, the minotaur wasn’t the only one with a little magic up his furry sleeves.

Goliath always put off an aura of anger. On the football field, opposing players sensed it when they looked into his eyes across the line of scrimmage. Here on the battlefield, it served as his shield—anger pulsed from his skin, deflecting the fire around him.

He blinked away the after-image of the flames as the minotaur charged at him, sparks flying between his lowered horns. Goliath’s instincts took over. He stepped aside and brought his sword down on the minotaur’s head. It clanged off a horn and grazed the creature’s scalp. Blood splattered as the minotaur stumbled past him.

An explosion rocked the ground, and a quick glance revealed the red-haired woman leaping through a plume of flames and black smoke toward the mech. He’d have to finish off this minotaur, or he wouldn’t have a chance at the woman.

The minotaur rolled, spun around and planted one knee and both hands on the ground. He acted like a thousand dumb jocks Goliath had squared off against on the football field; only they didn’t usually make the turf around them glow. Apparently, the minotaur had learned a few new tricks since last they faced each other.

Goliath waited to see what the minotaur had in store for him.

The earth rippled out from the creature’s hands and Goliath began to sink into the suddenly molten field. Instead of fighting it, he dove. The grass parted like water as he allowed the liquefied soil to take him down. The intense heat tore at his flesh, but he pushed it aside with his anger and kicked a few times, until he passed where the minotaur crouched above. With two strong kicks, he launched upward and exploded from the ground. Rock and dirt filled the air as he shot skyward. He spun in midair, and the minotaur stumbled to his feet as Goliath readied his blade.

He fell toward the creature, deflecting short bursts of blue fire. He was angry now—Goliath wasn’t fond of swimming. He hit the now solid ground and strode forward.

The minotaur staggered back, tossing balls of flame, which sizzled and went out when they reached him. The creature’s eyes shot wide in terror—a look Goliath was accustomed to seeing.

He swung his great sword as the minotaur readied another fireball. He clove a horn and sent it flying.

The fire coursing through the minotaur, making his tattoos dance, winked out. He fell forward, a pleading look now in his eyes.

Yet Goliath knew no mercy. He thrust his blade through the creature’s chest, and pain plumed on his face an instant before the minotaur vanished, back to the waking world.

Goliath swung around, seeking his next foe.

The giant, mechanical robot lurched sideways, a long hose spraying fluid dragging behind one leg. The small, flame-haired woman danced between its legs, slashing at anything not made of metal. The robot brought down a massive arm tipped with a cannon and batted the woman away. She flew through the air, fifty feet or more, and crashed to the ground.

That’s that then. Goliath charged as the robot leveled its canon at the prostrate form of the woman. Swinging his sword upwards, he knocked the barrel aside just as the canon fired.

The projectile rocketed from the muzzle toward the stands, exploding in a ball of fire and sparks as it hit the invisible barrier protecting the spectators.

Black oil squirted from punctures and cut hoses all over the mech. Metal on metal squealed as it pivoted, searching for Goliath. A mechanical hand wiped the black liquid, smearing the glass windshield where the pilot would be seated.

It’s almost too easy. Goliath batted away the arm with the cannon and charged in. He lifted his sword above his head and drove it forward into the windshield.

The glass exploded, and he stood eye-to-eye with a little man with goggles perched askew on his forehead. Wild hair fanned around eyes that narrowed with determination. This guy had never faced Goliath before.

With one hand, the small man reached behind him and pulled out a rather nasty looking knife with a serrated edge along the back. With the other hand, he unbuckled a harness and leapt forward.

Goliath yanked his sword free, taken aback for a moment by the little man’s ferocity. Then the reality of the situation overtook him and he swatted the man away like a fly.

Why does everyone think they can be David and take on the giant?

He strolled over to where the little man lay in a heap and, thinking it best to finish him off, raised his sword.

No!

Goliath spun around.

The red-haired woman charged, holding her sword above her head with both hands. He’s mine.

He smiled. This one had a lot of spunk, he’d give her that. As you wish. I’ll let you have him.

She came up short. You’ll let me have him? I had him beat before you got in the way.

He was about to kill you. Goliath laughed. I saved you!

You.... Her face filled with fury. I think you misread the circumstances. I— She yanked a dagger from a sheath on her calf and launched it toward him.

He spun out of the way in time to see the dagger sink into the chest of the little man, who prepared to throw his own knife. The man’s gaze darted between Goliath and the woman, and then he disappeared.

"Let’s rephrase that. I’ve saved you." A smile formed on the redhead’s face.

Goliath found the small woman amusing. What delusions she must live under. Be that as it may, we must finish—

The redhead lunged forward.

The tip of her blade drew a slender red line on his thigh before he had a chance to react. Goliath banished the smile on his face and brought his sword down to block a second blow. You’re fast, I’ll give you that.

Of course every advantage could be turned into a weakness.

She darted in again, and Goliath blocked the strike but stepped back under a flurry of blows. He frowned. This small wisp of a woman was either very stupid, or—

The mighty Goliath backs away from a little girl. She took a few more swings toward his stomach.

He countered each one but retreated once more to keep her blade from slicing him open.

A gasp went through the stands.

Don’t they realize I’m toying with her? He brought his sword, as long as the girl was tall, to bear in front of him and pointed it toward her chest. He thrust, but she dashed off to the right, toward a stone arch with a massive wooden door—closed.

Perfect.

Again she lunged forward, running under his sword, but he dropped his blade, knocking her to the ground. She scrambled back, again toward the door and leapt to her feet.

If she’s hoping to escape, she’ll be gravely disappointed—and trapped. Once those doors closed, they never opened until there was a victor.

It was his turn to attack. He charged forward, swinging his sword. The air vibrated as it whooshed back and forth. He had her on the run now.

First the redhead staggered backwards, then turned and literally ran toward the door.

Time to finish her off.

He tensed the muscles in his legs and jumped with his sword held high.

She reached the door, where he would skewer her to the wood. Instead of stopping and turning in fear, she leapt and ran up the face of the door. It was thirty feet tall, and when she gained the top she kicked off, flipped back and twisted around.

Goliath brought his sword up, but his momentum still took him forward and he couldn’t get a good swing at her.

The redhead landed on the flat of his blade and kicked off again, hurling herself toward his head. The point of her sword caught him beneath his hairy chin, and slid through his throat.

The crowd gasped, and he winked out.

***

He awoke in his bed, in the basement of his parent’s house.

What just happened? How did that little redheaded girl best the greatest warrior the arena had ever seen? It was a fluke. Or....

Maybe it was only a dream after all.

Chapter One

It was a strange sensation, the feeling of fear and pity, hatred and apathy wrestling against each other like brothers are wont to do.

I was running through the streets of New York City—one moment in a panic because I was sure I’d be caught, the next dumbfounded by the illogical situation. One of the youngest students ever accepted into MIT should be on top of the world, a leader among men. Instead, I ran from a couple of hoodlums who, to make matters worse, just happened to be my brothers—well, two of them anyway.

I glanced past the violin case on my shoulder, over to the alley entrance. Maybe I’d lost them. It wasn’t like they were hard to put off the scent. All it’d take is some distraction. Heck, even the sound of the ice cream truck would probably be enough to make them forget today was beat on Joseph day.

No such luck.

A shadow streaked across the narrow band of blue sky above and in front of me. Maybe my brothers would break their weasely little necks with their parkour nonsense.

I took a quick right into another alley. Brightly colored shirts and underwear hung on ropes between the windows, fluttering in a warm summer breeze that somehow made its way down among the towering apartment buildings that filled this part of the Bronx. I almost laughed at a flowery bra that danced above me as I ran past. Some people had no problem airing even their most private laundry out for the whole world to see. That was not my family at all. We Colafranceschis would rather die than look anything less than perfect.

Of course, my twin brothers did everything they could to disrupt that family code. Today was Exhibit A.

You can run, but you can’t hide, Sergio yelled from behind me.

I spun around to see my brother swing down from a fire escape. He hit the ground twenty feet below the ladder and rolled once before leaping to his feet. The twins practiced parkour nonstop, recording each other doing crazy leaps from rooftop to rooftop, or climbing up the sides of buildings all in one fluid motion. They wanted to be stuntmen in Hollywood.

If they weren’t so darned stupid, they actually could make it. They were pretty incredible to watch, when I wasn’t running in fear.

If I wanted to hide, there’d be no way you’d find me. You couldn’t find your own shadow if it was right behind you, I yelled back.

This stopped him in his tracks for a second. He turned around almost as if he expected to find his shadow gone.

I took advantage as his body worked to catch up with his brain. See you at home, you dumb oaf. Diving between his legs, I wondered where the twin doofus might be lurking.

Igor didn’t make me wonder for long. I ran back into the alley I’d just left, only to see him leaping back and forth across the open space between the buildings—zigzagging down from window ledge to window ledge until he reached the pavement. He looked like someone straight out of a video game.

Both brothers were wiry masses of sinew and bone. They lived in muscle shirts, showing off their hard-earned biceps. Igor sported a sorry excuse for a goatee, the mustache and hair on his chin missing their connection with each other by quite a bit. He of course thought it gave him an advantage with the ladies.

I just thought it made an already dull face even more idiotic. If they did ever make it in the movies, it’d have to be for long camera shots—no close-ups on that face, please.

Why don’t you just take your beating like a man? Igor wiped his hands on his shirt and started toward me. Oh, I forgot, it’s because you’re nothing but a widdle biddy crybaby.

Sergio closed in behind me. Yeah, widdle Joey crybaby is gonna need his mommy to make his boo-boos feel all better.

I fired back. You know, you only do this because of a lack of respect for yourself. You realize how worthless you really are, and you project that feeling on me. Freud said, ‘Emotions or excitations which the ego tries to ward off are spit out and then felt as being outside the ego, perceived in another person.’ You feel worthless so you see me as worthless. When you beat on me, you are actually beating on yourself.

My brothers looked at me with an expression of complete incomprehension. "Well, if Fraud told me to kick your butt, who am I to argue with him?" Igor said.

There would be no getting away today. I held out my hands. Let me put down the Strad.

The twins stopped their advance for a moment as I unslung my backpack from one shoulder, my violin case off the other. The Strad in question was the Berliano Stradivari of 1707, a violin worth in excess of $2 million, a gift from the Italian government for the years of service my father had dedicated to U.S.-Italian relations. My brothers had no idea of its worth, only that Father would quite literally put them in the hospital for a very long time if any harm came to it.

Of course, if Father knew I was carrying it back and forth to school, I’d be in major trouble too, but I just couldn’t play anything else. It produced a sound unlike anything I’d ever heard.

I’d been playing the violin since the age of six, after learning that Einstein had been quite the accomplished violinist. It was a means to clear my head. When I had a most pressing problem that required an unusual solution, the violin brought clarity that nothing else could. Too bad my brothers wouldn’t be interested in a little concert in the alleyway. This was definitely a problem begging for a solution.

The rational side of me, the side that could come up with a nearly infinite list of reasons these two weren’t worth the brainpower to debate with, somehow took a backseat when they started moving toward me again.

To my utter shame, I lowered myself to their level. Don’t forget what Mom said. If I come home with a single bruise, she’ll break every bone in both your miserable bodies.

"Oh, your mommy is gonna break all our bones? Igor advanced toward me. I’ve got something for yo’ mamma if she ever tries it." He grabbed himself in the crotch.

I’ll kill you if you ever touch my mom! I lunged forward, but Sergio grabbed me from behind.

Igor plowed forward and drove his fist into my stomach. I’d love to see you try.

Sergio drove his knee into my back and knocked me to the ground.

I closed my eyes and curled up in a ball. I wouldn’t cry this time. No matter what.

***

I stood in front of the steps to our house. Growing up, I thought we lived in a castle—four stories of glorious, red brick. It even had a turret running from the street level all the way up past the top floor. My bedroom was at the very top of the turret.

My older brothers said this old brownstone, on the corner of East 138th and Charles, was nothing compared to where they lived in Italy, when Father had served as the US Ambassador.

But I couldn’t imagine anyplace better. Who’d want to live in Italy anyway? Actually, I did regret where we lived at times. So many of the great minds of the past had been Italians—Da Vinci being one

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