December 18, 2012
Hardcover, 256 pages
Demons, faeries, and mermaids. Claws, teeth, and nightmares.
They have been beaten and bruised, set on fire, and nearly drowned, but manage to always find their way home. Over their last Winter Holiday break before college, Shayna, Jodi, and Steven try again to put aside the magic in their lives for a little mundane fun. But Shayna’s mother is having dreams of fire and death. A mysterious stranger by the name of Liam has just arrived in town. And Shayna’s attempts to manage her new angelic powers are set back by Steven’s insistence that the trio intervene in a riot outside of a concert, with disastrous consequences.
In her attempt to stop the riot, a man sees Shayna use her magical abilities – a man driven mad by watching his brother die at the hands of a black witch. He stalks Shayna, plotting to destroy her and her friends. With her mother’s warnings echoing in her mind, Shayna is now in the fight of her life against an unlikely foe: a human man.
about the author
I don’t do well talking about myself. So as basics go, I have recently self-published the first two books in my Elemental Series, Earth and Air, Young Adult Urban Fantasy novels. Look for the third installment, Water, coming in 2012!
I have been working on the Elemental Series for the last four years and plan for it to be a 5 book series. It was a hard decision to self-publish but it’s been an exciting and terrifying ride.
I sipped at my soda, letting my eyes sweep the crowd. Jodi and Steven were practically in the same place as before they got their waters. I knew they were staying where we could all see each other. I continued my sweep, entertaining myself with how people had dressed, both of the male and female persuasion. Some looked amazing, faces and hair done perfectly and clothing clinging in all the right places and all the right colors. But the ones that were most fun to watch were the ones who thought a concert was just a mini Halloween, dressing in some of the most absurd outfits I had ever seen outside of Hollywood in the summer.
Some girls were pretty tame, wearing too short skirts and actual corsets, while others were garbed head to toe in black: black shoes, black fishnets, black micro-mini skirts, black straps meant to be a shirt, black makeup, and bleached blonde hair. It was all just different styles of showing off as much flesh as possible while still being legal and proclaiming silently which band they’d come to see. The men weren’t quite as entertaining; either they dressed like they had something to prove or they dressed like they’d given up and were just trying for geek-chic now.
Of course there were inevitably the men that were just a little too old to be here if they weren’t chaperoning their own kids, and you always knew which ones they were. Their stares lingered a little too long, they drank a little too much, and they always seemed to be sweating, even if they were just sitting at the bar. These men always drew my attention, my internal warning system flaring to life as I caught their desperate signatures in the air around me and so many other young girls.
One of these men sat seven seats down from me at the face of the bar. He leaned on his elbows on the bar, facing the audience and ogling the girls young enough to be his daughters. I shuddered at the look in his eyes, revolted. I swirled my glass on the bar top, trailing the small puddle of condensation, as I stared at him and opened a thin chain of awareness between us. Almost instantly, his head snapped up from the droop it had been in and he turned in my direction, his eyes locking with mine.
It’s time to leave, I thought at him, my mindvoice edged in fire, and I saw a shadow cross his face. What you’re thinking is despicable. You’re going to go home and go to bed alone. When you wake up in the morning, you’re going to start to act your age. His eyes glazed over as the compulsion settled into the back of his mind. With mechanical stiffness, he pulled out his wallet, dropped a bill on the bar, turned around, and walked out. Just before his body disappeared around the door, I let the connection break between us, not wanting to be tied to him.
I never liked using my powers to control people. I really didn’t, even if I did it for the greater good. But as they say, you vote for the lesser of two evils. Sometimes when I opened a channel between me and others, I got a glimpse of their true intentions and men like that had nothing but bad intentions in them. He had been making eyes at a trio of sixteen year olds, each wearing a neon green wristband marking them under eighteen to the staff. All of them smiled back at him, thinking he’d be an easy mark to buy them drinks.
Little did they know at least one of their drinks would be doctored with something stronger than rum. That is, if he had gotten up the courage to drop the little white pill into the glass. Maybe he wouldn’t have acted upon his desires tonight, but there was always tomorrow and there would always be gullible young girls out there to prey upon. And I wouldn’t be there tomorrow to do anything about it, so I did something about it tonight and felt none of the guilty karmic weight of messing with the universe. I shook off the slimy feeling the stranger left behind.
I knew I had effectively cut off the connection I created with that man, so when the prickling fingers of awareness ran up the back of my neck, my stomach knotted up against my spine. A true predator was in this room and he was too close for my comfort. My increased heartbeat had probably already given me away. The sweat that broke out on the back of my neck in the wake of that prickling sensation had nothing to do with the body heat around me and I knew he could smell it. I also knew that he knew what I had just done and he was trying to make a connection with me, but my shields were keeping him out.
The muscle in my jaw jumped as I clenched my teeth. I found enough courage to lift my chin and raise my eyes from my glass, arrowing in on his gaze. With less surprise than I expected to feel, I looked into the steely depths of the vampire sitting at the bar across from me.