Vampire Princess: Paradise Lost by P. Mattern
“We are merging more than royals,” Thul said. “I, for one, understand what’s at stake.” He leaned in and kissed the back of her hand with soft lips. “Do you?” he asked for her ears only, and gave Ciara a piercing stare.
She jerked her hand out of his grasp to stave off the goose bumps bubbling across her arms. She shuddered. Was it from his conspirator’s tone, or something else?
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“Technically, it’s a two bedroom.” Mrs. Abercrombie finally settled on a key.
“What do you mean, ‘technically’?” My chest tightened, and my voice raised an octave. A two-bedroom would cost more. I pulled the flyer from my satchel and held it up to her. “This says a one bedroom for six-twenty-five a month.”
Mrs. Abercrombie reached inside her sweats to scratch… something and then nodded at the flyer.
“This is the same place. The price is what it says there. I ain’t pulling no bait-n-switch. The blueprints I got show two bedrooms. You’ll see when we get up there that there’s a stuck door. I figure that second bedroom is what’s behind it. Can’t say for sure ‘cause I can’t open it. No how, no way.” She sucked on her teeth. “Just explaining the door is all.”
Her books deal with harder topics (dating violence, death of a sibling, divorce, substance abuse, runaways, bullying, teen suicide, etc.) because she believes it is important to talk about these things. Those kinds of topics can be hard to handle and a bit overwhelming, so she infuses a bit of humor in her work as well because she also believes that a sense of humor can help you get through just about anything.
Shawn lives in Colorado with her family where she loves to read, cook and bake, craft, practice yoga and meditation, and spend time hiking and camping in the spectacular Rocky Mountains.
But it’s not like some cosmic vending machine. A psychic can’t pull specific details from the transcendental top hat on a whim. We don’t control what we get. It’s given to us, directed. We don’t wake up knowing which sports teams will beat the spread on a daily basis. And it’s not true that we have the answers to everything. Most people don’t get that.
When she isn’t writing or hanging with her family, Corinne works as the executive director of a nonprofit. She is a member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Mystery Writers of America, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. You can find her online at corinneoflynn.com, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Six months is considered the acceptable amount of time for grieving. Anything over that allotment pushes your parent-mandated therapist to change your diagnosis from the rather blasé and benign sounding Adjustment Disorder to the more somber and serious Major Depressive Disorder. The elusive happiness fairy neglected to wave her magic wand over me by the deadline, so here I am—again—sitting on the scratchy couch across from Dr. Debbie.
While she drones on about the stages of bereavement, which I’m apparently failing worse than senior year trigonometry, I stare at the painting behind her. Ocean waves lap at a deserted seashore while a lighthouse juts out over craggy rocks.
“What are you thinking?” Dr. Debbie asks.I shrug. “I guess I’m wondering why you have an ocean scene in your office when the Midwest is nowhere near the coast?”
She peeks over her shoulder at the painting behind her. “I thought it would be relaxing. Do you like it?”
A deep sigh escapes me. “It makes me wish I were somewhere else.”
Dr. Debbie’s eyes light up like she can sense an impending breakthrough. She leans forward in her cracked, faux leather chair.
He rolled over. She was so close to him, he pulled his head back across his pillow until he was able to focus on her features. She didn’t look right, pale and lost, her eyes locked on something behind him. Her stare was blank, unblinking.
“Andrea?” he whispered.
Her eyes shifted unnaturally to meet his and a cold panic rushed his body, left him weak.
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She started down the stairs, but the door opposite the one she'd come through opened wide. Genna pressed herself against the wall. It kept her hidden until the door closed. She dashed down the steps.
"Hold on there." A boy called out to her. His footsteps followed.
Genna kept going. She reached the bottom landing. Her hand clutched the doorknob but he grabbed her arm.
"You don't want to do that."
Genna swung around. "Don't tell me what to do."
He let go of her and stepped back. He smiled. "I didn't exactly tell you what to do. Just strongly suggested you don't go through that door.”
She crossed her arms. "And why not?"
"Well, first because there are plenty of people on the other side that will take you back to your room, or worse. And second, if by some chance you made it outside, you'd freeze before you got very far."
Raised in Salt Lake City, Wendy graduated from the University of Utah and soon transplanted to Colorado where she completed her MBA at the University of Denver. Having applied her marketing expertise to the financial and network security industries, it wasn’t until a career coach stepped in that she fully immersed herself in her passion for writing. Wendy began attending writers conferences, workshops and retreats.
She regularly participates in two critique groups and is the Secretary of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, and a member of Pikes Peak Writers and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. In 2014, she was a finalist in the San Francisco Writer’s Contest.
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Dad’s face closed up. “We have some things to discuss.”
Mom sat down, avoiding my glare. Richard’s thick eyebrows wrinkled apologetically.
“Okay, fine,” I said.
“Whatever you’re trying to figure out,” I said to my parents, “I might be able to help. If you’d ask.”
They didn’t respond. I stalked toward the door that Alec held open for me, but something solid appeared between us.
Not something; someone. Neat blond hair, dark clothes. Jonah.
“Lovely. Just the girl I was looking for.” He smiled, like we’d met by chance on the street, and wrapped his hand around my arm. To Alec, he said, “You don’t mind if I borrow her, do you?”
And he yanked my world out from under me.
A.G. is also a clinical psychologist, which means people either tell her their life stories on airplanes, or avoid her at parties when they’ve had too much to drink. Neither of which she minds.
When she’s not writing fiction or shrinking heads, she can be found herding her children and their scruffy dog, Guapo, to various activities while trying to remember whatever she’s inevitably forgotten to tell her husband. She lives in Denver, Colorado. Learn more at aghenley.com, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.