Ava awoke from a deep sleep, feeling groggy and half drugged. Her temples throbbed and each cell dragged through her body. She didn’t remember going to bed, or falling asleep. She especially didn’t recall putting on a delicate nightgown of soft satin. She usually slept in a tank top. She sat up and looked around the room to get her bearings. Nothing made sense. Not the enormous king-size bed or the overstuffed feather comforters, or the chiffon canopy hanging over her head. She got out of bed and looked around the room to figure out where she was. Massive crystal chandeliers dangled from the vaulted ceilings. The room was far too opulent to be inside the academy. No, she thought, these chambers are fit for a queen. And she had been here before. A long time ago. A very long time ago. She went over to the windows and peered out to the vast green forest of trees that stretched across the Los Angeles basin all the way to the Pacific Ocean.
“Impossible,” she whispered, leaning against the glass to keep from collapsing.
This was the same room at the Royal Palace where Morray had held her prisoner sixteen years ago. She stood by these same windows just before she made her speech and just before Joseph’s men stormed the Arena and took down Morray. The walls shifted to gray, and the edges of the room closed in on her. She staggered over to the white lounger to sit down and catch her breath. How could she be sitting in a place that no longer existed? Years ago, the New Democracy had demolished the palace. She wondered if she were having a lucid dream or a very pronounced hallucination. It was too real to be a dream––the intoxicating scent of jasmine, the cold marble floor under her bare feet, and the taste of bile in her throat––but the room defied all logic. This had to be an outright lie. It had to be. There was only one explanation and one man who could concoct such a convincing falsehood . . . Morray.
In 2013, Pond released The City Center, the first book in her dystopian fiction series. A fast-paced tale of love and adventure that will appeal to young adults and seasoned readers alike. The second book in the series, The New Agenda, was published in May of 2014. The City Center and The New Agenda are best sellers in Amazon's post-apocalyptic science fiction category, and The City Center was the recipient of a Gold Medal from Readers' Favorite Awards. The third book in the series, The Mainframe, releases in December 2014. Pond currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their Boston Terrier. Learn more about her and her writing at Simone Says...