YA supernatural romance novel with NA and contemporary fantasy appeal
Date Published: April 2016
“Hayden is alive.” Those three words hurl Kate and her friends towards a mission unlike any other. While honing Kate’s Asteri powers, Kate and Alex delve deeper into their relationship as they untangle Kate from Sarah’s past. Zoe and Evan are entrusted with the task of destroying a magical ring and finding a cure for a poison that threatens their existence. And Nick is determined to locate and free Hayden from whatever monster imprisons her. Working together, their success will ensure that Hayden will no longer be a ghost sketched on paper, but a woman reborn to thrive in Nick’s arms.
Kate grabbed a glass, filled it with some ice water and then headed upstairs. She took a sip of the cool water and pushed open the door to her bedroom. Then it hit her. The sulfur smell. The stench permeated everything in her room. She walked noiselessly to her desk and set the glass down. Kate lifted her pillow to her nose and inhaled. The stench overwhelmed her. She bent down and sniffed her sheets. Whatever it was had lain in her bed. Not only did she have to kill whatever was here for her, but she’d also have to do laundry. Curse him!
Her heart raced. She knew she wasn’t alone, but she didn’t know where the predator lurked. She calmed her heart, willing her body into submission. She didn’t need to fear anything. It needed to fear her.
She stood frozen, listening for a clue, searching for a breath or a heartbeat. Then she heard it, the lub-dub, lub-dub of a heart as it pumped and betrayed its location. But something was wrong. This beat was too fast. It wasn’t beating at the controlled pace of a predator. This beat was fearful, anxious. Was it a newbie predator? Someone on a training mission? Was she so young that they sent a novice to kill her? The thought was insulting, but being underestimated put her in a better position. If they underestimated her, then they wouldn’t be ready for her. Never turn down an advantage.
She continued to listen and finally discerned the soft, slow sound of the du-dun, du-dun heartbeat of a true predator. The master-teacher. So there were two.
She slipped her fingers through the opening of her Talon knife even though she hoped she wouldn’t need to use it. Her goal was to kill whatever came for her with her powers. That would be the cleanest way to get rid of them. She didn’t want to have to clean up a mess and explain anything to her parents.
Kate followed the sound of the twin heartbeats. She crossed the hall and stopped at her parent’s bedroom door. Two predators waited for her. Should she call out to them? Lure them to her? Or rush them? Would she be able to surprise them? Surely not, for her heartbeat must betray her location too. She wasn’t sure what to do. Two on one is not really a fair fight.
“Come in,” called a husky voice. “We’ve been waiting for you.”
Crap. Her element of surprise was gone. Kate’s free hand wrapped around the door handle as she debated what to do. Should she rush in and start fighting or take her time and assess the situation? She pushed the door open and froze. Her heart rate skyrocketed. She was no longer in predator mode.
Karen Tjebben lives in central North Carolina with her encouraging and supportive husband, twin daughters, and two hamsters. When her girls left for kindergarten, Karen discovered that she needed to fill her days with something, and that was the beginning of her new career in writing. She loves to create worlds filled with unique creatures that she hopes will delight and raise goose bumps on her readers. In her free time, she enjoys traveling with her husband and seeing the world through her daughters’ eyes.
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