by Jenn Marie
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Release Date: July 3rd 2016
Quiet seventeen-year- old Elizabeth Parker is looking forward to another mellow summer with her goofy relatives: sun tanning at the beach and staying out of trouble. Which is why the thought of her younger cousin participating in what is, clearly, a setup disguised as an initiation, worries her to the point of intervention.
One that backfires … big time …
Mistaken for her cousin, Elizabeth finds herself transported to an abandoned plantation, a place deeply haunted with unresolved mystery and where horror reigns every summer between July 20 and August 13.
It is there, locked in the pitch dark, where she finds herself paired with the strange and mysterious Adam Hunt—an unexpected trespasser with his own agenda. Together, they find a list of instructions—follow the clues to various possessions in the house, store them in the backpack provided, and find the key that will grant escape.
Having snuck in to document the haunting, Adam offers to help her find the key so long as she helps him record paranormal activity along the way. But as they make their way through the house, they soon discover unexplained anomalies …
For the first time in the plantation’s recorded history, the haunting deviates from its known cycle of events, thrusting Elizabeth and Adam in a series of perilous circumstances that ensue long after the night is over.
As the last day of the haunting draws nearer, and as forces beyond their control ignite their growing attraction, Elizabeth and Adam must work together to uncover the plantations mysterious past before its too late.
Or die trying.
Warning: Occasional coarse language. Intended for Mature Young Adult audience.
A muffled screech burst through my nose. The shadow shot toward me.
“Shhh!” A hand closed over my mouth. “I’m not going to hurt you,” whispered a low voice.
“Just stay still and be quiet.” Like I could scream. Couldn’t he feel the tape? I flailed, elbowing my captor in the ribs. “Christ,” he hissed, “I said stay still.” His arm wrapped me from behind, holding me against his chest. And that’s when I heard it.
A soft click echoed through the room. I stilled. Only when it clicked again did I recognize the sound as mechanical. Where was it coming from? The grandfather clock? But that was impossible. It was like a thousand years old. It couldn’t possibly be—
The gears turned again, sounding an ominous ticking, and with the vibration of a gong, the clock chimed the hour. I yelped. The boy tightened his hold. Static prickled, igniting a violent tremble in my bones. At the end of every clang, my heart stuttered, only to pick up in double time. When at last the final toll droned out, I was nearly hyperventilating. The boy released me.
I jumped to my feet, gesturing frantically at the door. So blinded by fear, it didn’t occur to me that he couldn’t see what I was pointing at.
“Calm down,” the boy said, standing in full height before me. Even in the dark, I could tell he was much taller than I was.
Dropping to all fours, I patted the floor, feeling for the flashlight. I couldn’t breathe. My lungs were shrinking. So were the walls. The light flicked on. I gasped as my fingertips met the toes of black grunge combat boots.
“Looking for this?” the boy said, sounding older, even for a senior—assuming that’s what he was. Dark-wash jeans covered the length of his too-long legs, but the rest of him was hidden in the blinding glow of the flashlight. I scrambled back on my haunches, shielding the light with my forearm.
“Hey, take it easy,” the boy said. “I’m not going to hurt you.” Ironically, he said this at the exact moment he withdrew a pocketknife from the back pocket of his jeans. I squealed, my heart jumping in my throat. “It’s to cut the tape,” he said quickly, lowering the knife to the floor.
“Here.” He kicked it toward me. I stared at it.
When he didn’t move, I picked it up. Unfolding the blade, eyes locked on his shins, I raised the knife to the back of my head and maneuvered it under the tape, slicing it outward from my skull. The tape ripped in half. I wrestled it out of my hair. Air gushed in my lungs, and only then did I realize how loudly I’d been breathing through my nose. “Open it,” I choked out, getting to my feet. “Please.”
“Don’t tell me to calm down,” I snapped. “Just open the damn door.”
“Whoa, hold on a sec—”
“What’s wrong with you? Can’t you see you have the wrong girl?”
“The wrong girl?”
“I’m not April.” I threw my arms out. As if it wasn’t already obvious.
“April!” I shouted at him. “I’m not April! You have the wrong girl!”
“Slow down,” the boy said. “I don’t know who you are, and I sure as hell don’t know who April is. Frankly, I don’t care. But if you don’t keep it down, you’re going to fuck up this investigation, and I really don’t like wasting my time.”
Investigation? Who was this guy? Another initiate? Seizing the flashlight, I pointed it at his face. Words caught in my throat as I took in the boy’s features—sharp, angular, and, if I were being completely honest, very attractive. Dark brooding brows. Jade-green eyes. Chiseled cheekbones. And thin, oddly crooked lips, a tiny defect in the corner of his mouth that both chilled and fascinated me. On anyone else, it would’ve looked unattractive. But on him …
About the Author
Jenn Marie currently lives in sunny California with her wonderful husband and their runt kitty, Chloe. When she’;s not writing Young Adult Fiction, she can be found reading, plotting or spending time with her crazy, lovable family. Current obsessions include the movie, Frozen, the New Girl series, Arcade Fire’s latest album, and avocados. Seriously, she can’t get enough of it!
Writing, for her, is a passion that refuses to be under prioritized. No matter what’s going on in her life, whether good or bad, writing is always there to lift her spirits.