Crossroads Excerpt #3

“Sorry to interrupt your fun.”

“Fun? Ha!” He laughs, eyes raking over the costumed vamps grinding all around us. “I can think of better ways to spend the night, but I’m making the best of it.”

“Oh? Glow sticks and body paint isn’t your thing? Could’ve fooled me,” I retort, eyeing the trail of glitter that Jade has left on the front of his dark shirt. Perhaps it’s Jade’s way of marking her territory.

He doesn’t bother replying to my ridicule. He just stands there expectantly, eyes locked on mine. He’s not going to make it easy for me. And why should he? I haven’t exactly been easy to get along with or even to like. I don’t know why he’s offered to help, but I guess it’s time to find out. Time to swallow my pride.

“Will you train me?” I ask through clenched teeth. I practically choke on the words. I hate asking for help. I hate asking for anything.

“Sorry. I didn’t catch that?” he returns, raising his voice to be heard over the roar of the music. “It’s so loud in here, you know?” I’m certain he’s messing with me. He knows damn well what I said. Arrogant jerk! I turn to leave.

“Katia, wait!” He grabs my arm preventing retreat. “I offered, didn’t I?”

“What do you want in return?” It’s hard to keep the edge of suspicion from my voice. I know the lessons won’t come without a price.

“What makes you think I want something from you?” he asks crossing his arms over his chest. He’s clearly amused.

“The fact that I wasn’t born yesterday,” I retort. “So? What is it you want? Name your price.”

“Isn’t it obvious? I want to get to know you.” He’s got that mischievous look in his eye again. “You intrigue me. After all, there’s never a dull moment when you’re around.”

Right. I’m sure it’s that innocent. Probably he wants to get closer to me because of Aldo. It doesn’t matter though. Not as long as I get what I want.

“When do we start?”

“Tomorrow. Meet me in the training center at 11 o’clock.”

“I’ll be there.”

I nearly escape the dining hall without incident. Jade intercepts me at the door, grabbing my arm and digging her blood red nails into my skin like talons. If it weren’t for the baleful look on her face she might actually be able to pull off the white wings affixed to her back. As it is, there’s nothing angelic about her right now. “What do you want with Nikolai?”

“It’s a private matter,” I return, biting my tongue to keep from saying anything inflammatory. What is up with this crazy possessiveness of hers? Maybe she hasn’t heard the old adage about freeing that which you love the most. Then again, maybe she knows there isn’t creature in its right mind that would voluntarily come back for more of her bitchiness.

“Stay away from him,” she warns, her brown eyes flashing angrily. “Nikolai is mine.”

So much for playing nice. I can’t help but smirk at the tawdry threat as I wipe her glittery hand print off my forearm. “Jade, I have only one interest in Nik and I can assure you it’s purely physical.”
Crossroads (Crossroads Academy, #1)


* Originally posted at Literary Exploration

Crossroads Excerpt #2

Each day brings us just a little closer to the Red Dawn blog tour and today I’m excited to share with you an excerpt from Crossroads, my debut novel and the first in the Crossroads Academy series.

I spot Jade first, fangs bared, looming over a human girl who can’t be more than twelve or thirteen years old. Lexie and Blaine are with her. They’re taunting the girl, hissing and laughing, feeding on her terror. She’s crouched alongside the corn, her face stained with tears.

“Leave me alone! Please!” She cries futilely. They laugh in response and creep closer, which only makes the girl wail louder. I can’t say I blame her. The fire casts an eerie glow making the appearance of her leather clad tormentors even more demonic as shadows slant across their faces.

I charge forward without thinking, slipping between Lexie and Blaine and placing my body between the cowering girl and the three monsters assailing her.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” I shout furiously as I catch the lingering scent of the girls’ fear. A new surge of anger bubbles up from the pit of my stomach and I feel my fists clench, instinctively preparing for battle.

“This is none of your concern,” Blaine growls, assuming a defensive position. “Get lost.”

“We’re just having a little fun,” Lexie drawls, her accent sounding more sinister and disgusting in the firelight.

“Well now you’re done,” I tell them firmly, meeting Jade’s heated stare. Lexie and Blaine are puppets. It’s Jade who pulls the strings.

“But we’re just getting started,” she tells me. “It’s Halloween. And we want to play.” The way she draws out this last word makes my stomach twist in disgust.

“This isn’t a game,” I respond, curling my lips back to reveal my own teeth. I may just have a taste of Jade’s blood yet. I lick my lips in anticipation as anger courses through my veins. “Let her go.”

“Why don’t you make me?” Jade replies, as she steps forward menacingly.

She doesn’t have to ask twice. I pounce immediately, knocking her to the ground, the weight of my body pinning her to the dry earth. Her reflexes are sluggish compared to my own. Either she’s not as dedicated to her physical training as I am or she didn’t think I’d dare lay a finger on her. Apparently she has me confused with someone who’s worried about rules.

Crossroads (Crossroads Academy, #1)

Red Dawn by J.J. Bonds width=

* Originally posted at http://rantsnscribbles.blogspot.com

Crossroads Excerpt #1

Welcome back to the ‘best of’ the Crossroads blog tour! Just a few more weeks until Red Dawn is released so if you haven’t had a chance to check out Crossroads yet, what are you waiting for? Need a little more Crossroads to whet your appetite? How about an exclusive excerpt?

I wake with a throbbing headache. The ground beneath me is cold and hard. Cement. My head is pounding. Can smoke do that? I crack my eyes and stare up at the ceiling. I can only see patches of the mottled paint through the smoke. It swirls around me, polluting my lungs and piercing my eyes. Smoke assaults me from all sides, blurring my vision, the acrid stench clinging to my clothes and hair. I roll to my left and grab the corner of a metal table. Using the leg for support, I drag myself into a sitting position and climb to my feet.

For the first time I notice the flames. They crackle all around me. The clinic is engulfed. But why am I inside? And where is everyone else? What the hell is going on? This isn’t right. I’m not supposed to be here. It’s not supposed to be me!

Panic stirs my gut, threatening to burst forth. The beginning of a scream makes its way through me, coiling up from my stomach and into my throat. If I don’t let it out, it will consume me. I imagine the fear ripping me to pieces from the inside out, leaving nothing but an unrecognizable and bloody mess. Not today. I slam my hand over my mouth, clamping it shut. I swallow my fear. I have to stay calm. I have to get out of here.

The overhead lights surge with power and short out. The bulbs explode, leaving a deluge of sparks to rain down on me. I smell singed hair and pat my sleeve where the fabric has burned through. Time is running out.

I stride across the room and slam my hands against the nearest window. The glass does not give under the force of my blow. I strike it again; this time with my fist. And again. Still, nothing. I am not meant to get out. I’m meant to burn as they did. As they always do in my nightmares.

In an act of desperation I grab a stool and smash it futilely against the unyielding glass. It clatters to the floor and is quickly swallowed by the flames. I fight the urge to cry. I will be strong. I will be brave. I watch the flames, as they creep across the floor, inching closer to me.

 The room is getting unbearably hot. The soles of my shoes grow warm and the rubber begins to melt. I wonder if I too could melt. It beats the alternative of burning. It’s a fitting death I suppose. I’ve long suspected there’s a ring of hell for those like me.

As the flames take hold of my pant leg, searing nerve endings and destroying flesh, my brave façade crumbles. I fling myself against the window and pound on it with every ounce of strength I have left. I hardly recognize the deafening scream that reverberates through the night as my own.

Crossroads (Crossroads Academy, #1)

Red Dawn by J.J. Bonds width=

*Originally posted at http://www.crossroadreviews.com