From what Willa recalls, seeing this pitiful hand, and, eventually, the person connected to it, was the catalyst to the discovery of her true self. Willa is a witch, and it turns out her boyfriend, Simon, is a witch, too. Soon after Willa ﬁrst sees the reaching hand, Simon and her embark on a rescue mission, only to ﬁnd themselves catapulted into the alluring, but dangerous world of witches and witchcraft. Answers to all of Willa and Simon's questions are now within reach, but they've also stepped into the middle of a deadly war where many will stop at nothing to control the magic of The Six Gifts.
Willa and Simon must now learn to harness their powers to protect their lives and the lives of their newfound friends before the blood moon arrives, or all will be lost.
Publication Date: June 22, 2013
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press
Pages: 354 Pages
Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy
Pages: 354 Pages
Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy
Present Day, June
On a dull Tuesday night, two weeks after her high school graduation, Willa Fairfield stood at the soda machine filling a glass with Dr. Pepper, absently wondering what movie to watch after her waitressing shift, when she felt him walk in.
Warm electricity washed through her body, steeling away her breath. With a short gasp she set the half full glass of soda on the counter, almost spilling it. The intensity started in the space behind her heart, radiating outward to fill her whole body in the blink of an eye. She gripped the sides of her head, teetering on her feet, her head spinning, deliciously dizzy. She fought to pull in a full dredge of air as the heat heightened, growing, pulsing.
Willa swept her eyes around the small dining room of the Twelve Acres Diner, expecting to see patrons bending over and gasping, but everyone sat serenely eating, gossiping and carrying on as usual.
She spun around, looking for the source of the unexpected sensation. Everything was the same. Yet her body was absorbing warmth from somewhere, sucking it in like sand soaking up sunshine. The heat throbbed, warming her chest, belly, and pelvis. She pushed a hand to her gut and pulled in a shallow breath. Am I sick?
The fever curled inside her, blooming with a zing of energy, leaving her weak and exhilarated at the same time.
Do I collapse to the floor or run around the block?
Willa limped toward the swinging kitchen doors, thinking about the comfy chairs in the break area near the back of the restaurant. She wondered if she could make it without anyone noticing her wobbly legs and flushed skin.
Pulling in half a breath in an attempt to steady herself, she pushed through the doors.
There he stood.
A fresh burst of heat hit her full in the face as she stumbled back, bumping into the swinging door. He stood next to the time clock, fumbling with his apron, shaking his head, blinking in confusion. Instantly their eyes met and the warmth inside her boiled, bubbles bouncing in her veins, her head spinning even worse than before. The activity and noise of the kitchen were sucked away, leaving her in a void of heat.
He was the only thing Willa could see.
He managed to stumble forward, closing the distance between them. Willa couldn’t remember how to draw breath. He pulled all the air away, pushing into the spaces inside her.
The details of his person came into sharp focus. His broad, powerful body towered over her and she gazed up at his face. He stared down at her with a stunning set of chocolate brown eyes, so rich most people would think they were black—but Willa could see the brown; she was swimming in it. His hair spiraled off his head in short, delicious curls of butter blond, the color of the setting sun. His upper lip glistened with a thin sheen of sweat. Finally, a long, thin nose and squarely set jawbones completed the picture, each piece handsome and right.
“Hi,” he said. The weak excuse for a word tripped out of his mouth and Willa gasped at the rich, silky deepness of his voice.
Willa still couldn’t find her voice—it was somewhere back by the soda machine. She stared, eyes fixed, body burning, mind confused. What is this? She quickly searched her mind. Did I see this in a dream? It feels like something I would dream. But nothing came; it was all new.
He took another step forward and searched her face as she searched his. Deep inside her, she knew they belonged to each other. She knew it the same way she knew her dreams—and the ghosts—were a part of her she could never escape.
Is this real? Is it possible?
Then, as though someone had thrown a switch, the rest of the world came rushing back, snapping into place around them. Suddenly, there was a high-pitched flapping sound next to Willa’s head. It took her a moment to realize it was talking—Rosa, the hostess, a round, top-heavy woman who tended to talk more than people wanted to listen.
“Oh, good! You guys have met. Willa, this is our new cook, Simon. He’s a student at the University. Pre-med. Prestigious, huh?” Rosa put a pudgy, frigid hand—everything felt cold compared to the heat—on Willa’s shoulder. “Simon, this is Willa, one of our cute little waitresses. She’ll start at the University in the fall, history major.”
Willa didn’t say anything and neither did the new cook. It was impossible to look away from him. The entire kitchen staff had stopped working to watch the odd interaction with growing curiosity. A few of the cooks snickered and whispered.
Rosa’s eyes bounced back and forth between Willa and Simon. She lifted a hand and snapped her fingers in front of Willa’s face. Both she and Simon flinched, and the line of cooks erupted with laughter. “You kids all right?”
Willa blinked furiously and shook her head. “I, uhhh, I . . . don’t know. I don’t feel good.” She looked over briefly at Rosa, but couldn’t stand to look away from Simon for long. His eyes poured into hers, and his body leaned toward her only a few inches away. She could tell he was trying to think of something to say, but what words could he use?
Rosa pushed her clammy hand to Willa’s forehead. “Whoa! You are burning up. Go home right now. It’s a slow night anyway.” The hostess put her arm around Willa’s shoulders and started to pull her away. Willa resisted, lifted her hand toward Simon, her fingertips brushing his shirt before Rosa tugged her away. Moving away from him hurt—actual stabs of pain in her chest. She groaned.
“Come on. No puking in the kitchen. Let’s go, Willa. It’s okay. We’ll cover for you.”
Simon took one lurching step toward her and Willa almost shoved Rosa away to fall into his arms, but reality pushed back into her head. She finally noticed the gawking stares of all her co-workers. Service had completely halted as everyone watched the cook and the waitress ‘have a moment.’ Willa didn’t want weirdness attached to her; she had spent her whole life pushing it away.
He’s a total stranger! What am I doing?
She looked at Simon once more before giving into Rosa’s coaxing, accepting the bolts of pain in her chest as she turned away.
As Willa rounded the corner out of sight, the space behind her heart tugged, the confusing connection to Simon straining, fighting to hang on. Guffaws and taunts echoed from the kitchen as Simon took the brunt of the audience’s reaction. Willa wondered what he was feeling. Did his chest ache like his heart was ripping in half?
She rolled the name around in her head, a rough stone in a tumbler. She attached his image and all that she had felt—was feeling—and let it roll and roll, feeling it change. Simon. The stone stopped tumbling, now smooth and shiny. A gem. A treasure. She dropped it from her mind and held it against her heart. It fit there, but she didn’t know why or how.
Teri Harmanksl.com, Utah's #1 news site and hosts a monthly television segment for Studio 5, Utah's #1 lifestyle show.
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How did you like the extended excerpt of BLOOD MOON? Did it make you want to read more? I know where I'm heading this Summer Solstice...to my comfy couch curled up with a copy of BLOOD MOON.