Thursday, December 17, 2015

Slaying Shadows (Translucent #4) is Out Now!

Hi readers!

The title says it all! Slaying Shadows (Translucent #4) is out now! You can find it here! What would you do if you met your double and she was trying to take over your life? That's the quandary Leona faces in this latest installment in the Translucent series. (Scroll below to read its description.) For those of you who haven't started the series yet, you can find more information on Translucent, the first novel in the YA series, here.

There are six books total in the series, and the next is slated to come out in late spring/early summer 2016. Before that, I'll be finishing up my Timeloopers series! Cory and Iris's story will be coming to a close in March 2016.

What's next? I'm in the process of plotting out a YA mystery/thriller series. This will likely be a trilogy, and it won't be science fiction, but it will have the same type of unraveling mystery that most of my books have. If you enjoyed Broken Symmetry, I think you'll like what's coming!

Slaying Shadows

The girl sobbing in 16-year-old Leona Hewitt’s bedroom has the same long dark hair as her, the same startled hazel eyes as her, the same stuck-up nose as her. She’s identical in every way . . . and she’s here to take Leona’s place.

By a twist of fate, Leona has until midnight on Halloween to outsmart her evil double and steal back her shattered life—and her soul—or forever become a ghost.

But all the clues point to a startling truth. To her horror, she’s learning the other Leona has more claim to her old life than she does—even to her boyfriend.

Could it be that after all this time, everything she knows about herself is a lie?


See Slaying Shadows (Translucent #4) on Amazon!

Happy reading,
Dan


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Slaying Shadows (Translucent #4), Teaser #3

Hey readers!

Next Thursday, December 17, Slaying Shadows, the fourth book in my Translucent series, comes out! If you haven't checked out this series yet, you can do so here! Because I'm so freaking excited to share this book with you, I thought I'd give you one final teaser to hold you over for the next week! Are you ready?

Slaying Shadows, Teaser #2


The plan was simple: pretend to be Emory’s girlfriend for an afternoon and wheedle out her secrets from him directly, since he had spent the most time around her and knew her better than anybody. Even Megan.

But that meant I had to be edgy, because apparently my doppelgänger was edgy.

I could be edgy.

I could so be edgy.

Breathing fast, I veered into the history wing and put on my game face—glaring eyes, flared nostrils, pursed lips . . .

You’re about to impersonate his lover, Leona, not shank a bitch.

I let off on my game face but kept the heated stare.

Mr. Delaney’s open doorway came into view, grumpy seniors filing inside . . . and then him—one arm braced against the wall, triceps popping out of a tight T-shirt, letterman jacket slung over one shoulder, sneaking the last hit of a cigarette behind his friends literally right in front of a teacher.

My stomach did a nervous somersault.

Game on.

“Emory,” I called. “I mean . . . babe.” The word felt awkward on my tongue, and instant heat rushed to my cheeks.

But he was such a babe.

He glanced up, and his smoldering eyes found mine and stayed there.

I returned the smolder and walked right up to him, vaguely aware of parting the circle of senior jocks around him. They rolled their eyes and left us alone, muttering something about us. Emory straightened up, took a final drag, and flicked the butt after them.

I folded my arms and leaned against the wall, biting my lower lip to stop it from trembling. “Ditch your last class and hang out with me,” I ordered.

See, I can be edgy.

He swiveled his body over mine, pinning me against the wall, and suddenly he was way too close. My heart jittered and skipped a beat, and instantly, heat ran down my front like liquid. I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think . . . oh God, how did the other me pull this off?

“What’s the magic word?” His voice broke into my reverie.

“Rhododendron.” Somehow, I managed to keep my voice even and not betray my nervousness. I locked eyes with him, keeping up the act. “Ditch your class. Hang out with me. It’s not a question.”

“No can do. We got a test today.”

“Do I look like I care?” I shot for sexy, missed, and hit plain rude instead. “Come on, are you scared?”

I hardly cared at this point, already drunk off some heady combination of nerves and danger.

“What’s in it for me?” he said.

“The pleasure of my company and, uh . . . a back massage . . . maybe . . . if you behave yourself.” I cringed at my words, blushing even hotter.

The corner of his mouth twitched up. “A back massage, huh? You know, now that you mention it, my shoulder is kind of sore—” he rolled his shoulder back, clearly faking it, “ooh, yeah—and my dad’s not home today . . .”

Oh boy, what was I getting myself into?

“. . . but there’s still the issue of the test,” he continued, “and the fact that you’re asking me to ditch school, which is against the rules, as you know . . . All I’m saying is this better be the best damn massage—”

“I said if you behave yourself.” What does that even mean, Leona? Why do you keep saying that?

“And if I don’t?” He cocked an eyebrow, eyes twinkling.

“Then, uh . . . you have to give me a back massage,” I dared, doing all I could to not lose our staring contest. Oh God, why did I just say that?

“Challenge accepted,” he blurted before I could take it back, and he broke into a knowing smirk like he’d gotten the better end of a deal. Which he very likely had.

I had the bad feeling that “back massage” was actually code for sex and I had just seriously overpromised.


***

If you enjoyed that, please consider joining my mailing here to receive an email on the day Slaying Shadows releases! Also, make sure to add Slaying Shadows on Goodreads--you can do so here!

Happy reading,
Dan

Friday, December 4, 2015

Slaying Shadows (Translucent #4), Teaser 2

In just two weeks, Slaying Shadows (Translucent #4) is hitting shelves! Are you ready to find out what happens to Leona now that she's *spoiler alert for those of you who haven't read book three* met her double?

I can't wait to share the fourth book in the Translucent series with you, and the wait may in fact be killing me. ;) For now, I'll leave you with teaser #2!

Slaying Shadows Teaser #2
As I stared, mesmerized, at the naked body taking shape in front of me—at my body—my flesh began to crawl.

Dark matter had replicated me perfectly—the heart-shaped birthmark on the side of my rib cage, the faint dusting of freckles on my shoulders, the tiny vertical pinch of my belly button. Every mole, every scar, every imperfection.

That it had copied me in such detail could only mean it had intimate knowledge of my body, of my anatomy. I squirmed, suddenly skeeved out in my own skin. Dark matter had explored me through and through.

She deposited the dark matter in our contact lens case before fetching her shorts and tank top and pulling them on.

“Can you please wear something else?” I said. “So we’re not exactly the same?”

“No. This is what I want to wear.”

“Fine. I’ll change.” I rummaged around in my dresser and yanked out a pair of black skinny jeans and a silvery boatneck sweater, then dug out a pair of high heeled ankle boots from my closet—just the kind of peacock-like outfit I hated.

“We’re going to need to figure out the logistics of this,” she said, watching me.

“What logistics?” I searched the room for a place to change in privacy.

“You and me. Being the same person and all. You trying to freak out my parents.”

I came up short. “Could you, uh . . . look away?”

“Just change. Who cares?”

I care,” I said. “I don’t want you looking at me . . . because, ew . . . that’s just weird.”

“You’re pathetic.” She averted her eyes.

I scrambled out of my clothes and tugged on my new ones.

“Who’s going to go to school tomorrow?” she said. “Do you want me to go to school, or do you want to go to school? Or should we switch off? Or should we both go, and you take even periods, and I’ll take odd periods?”

“I don’t know. Fuck school.”

“Alright, I’ll go to school.” She peeked in my direction.

“No, I’ll go to school.” I laced up my boots. “You’re not going anywhere near a school.”

“Fine, then I get to live here.”

“In my house?” I glared at her. “Nuh-uh.”

“Unless you’d rather I go to school?”

“Alright, Jeez. Keep my freaking bedroom. It sucks anyway. I’ll stay at Megan’s . . . and I get the cell phone.”

“Then I get the car.”

“How is that fair? You can’t have my house and my car?”

“Fine, keep your stupid car . . . but I get Emory.”

“You can’t claim a person,” I sneered.

“He’s my boyfriend.”

“You mean, was?”

“Uh, thanks to you, asshole.”

“You dated him for four days.”

“And I got farther than you got in four months.”

My lip curled. “You’re sick.”

“I want Emory,” she spat.

“Good luck with that. Then I get Megan.”

“No way, you can’t have my best friend,” she said.

“Okay.” I shrugged. “Then you can’t have Emory.”

“Fine.” She put her hands on her hips. “Take her.

“I will.”

We both glared at each other for a moment, and then abruptly broke the staring contest to survey the room for anything else we had to divvy up.

“Dark matter?” she said tentatively.

I peered sharply at her. “What about it?”

“I mean, we should get rid of it, right? Neither one of us should have it.”

“Yeah,” I croaked, holding out my hand. “Give it to me. I’ll get rid of it.”

Reluctantly, she placed the contact lens case in my palm. My fingers closed around it, and I stuffed it in the tiny pockets of my jeans. A muscle twitched in her jaw before she finally tore her eyes off my hand.

A twinge of unease crept over me.

Why were we cooperating like this at all? My own motivations made sense. I knew why I couldn’t kill her—I’d given my word to Major Connor, and the military needed to study her—but why was she cooperating with me? Presumably if she was a copy of me—and especially if she had a monster inside her—she would want to kill me at the first opportunity.

Was she acting like this to disarm me?

I’d have to watch my back.

Something buzzed near my feet—the cell phone still in the pockets of my shorts, a text message.

She glanced over, curious.

I dug it out, giving her a back-off look. “Cell phone’s mine, remember?”

“Yeah, but who is it? It depends on who it is, right?”

The text was from Emory. My insides froze. Why was he texting? Was he even texting me, or was he texting her?

“Is it Emory?” she said.

“No, it’s not Emory.”

“Then who is it, huh?”

“Uh . . . it’s Megan.”

“Oh my God, you totally hesitated. Give it to me!” She lunged for the phone in my hand.

I scrambled away from her, holding the phone out of reach. “Yeah, so what? So what if he texts me? It’s still my phone.”

“You’re already cheating. It’s literally been two seconds, and you’re already cheating.”

“It’s a stupid system anyway. You can’t claim a freaking person—” I broke away from her long enough to read the text. When I did, my heart did something funny.

Emory: I left my letterman jacket at your house. Bring it to school tomorrow and leave it in Mr. Delaney’s room. I don’t want to have to see you.

She read it over my shoulder, and her gaze slid to the foot of her bed, where the green and white jacket was stuffed between the mattress and the wall. Her lip quivered, and a fresh tear bobbed on her lower eyelid.

“I’ve got school, so I’ll take it to him.” I grabbed the jacket and hurried out before she could say anything else. The dreamy scent of his cologne rose off the white leather sleeves, arousing a painful rush of nostalgia and longing. On the verge of tears myself, I squeezed the jacket to my chest, trying to hold on to something I couldn’t put my finger on, something I’d never had, a whisper of another life.

***

Slaying Shadows releases on December 17. If you'd like to get an email in the book comes out, please join my mailing list here. And make sure to add it on Goodreads, which you can do here!

Happy reading!
Dan

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Slaying Shadows (Translucent #4) Cover Reveal

On December 17, Slaying Shadows, the fourth book in the Translucent series will hit shelves! Are you ready to see the cover?


Are you sure?


Positive?


Am I annoying you yet? ;)


3 ...


2 ...


1 ...


Description
The girl sobbing in 16-year-old Leona Hewitt’s bedroom has the same long dark hair as her, the same startled hazel eyes as her, the same stuck-up nose as her. She’s identical in every way . . . and she’s here to take Leona’s place.

By a twist of fate, Leona has until midnight on Halloween to outsmart her evil double and steal back her shattered life—and her soul—or forever become a ghost.

But all the clues point to a startling truth. To her horror, she’s learning the other Leona has more claim to her old life than she does—even to her boyfriend.

Could it be that after all this time, everything she knows about herself is a lie?


***

Liked what you read? Click here to add Slaying Shadows to your "To Read" list on Goodreads. And if you'd like a reminder when it hits shelves, make sure to sign up for my mailing list here. (I promise I don't spam!)

Happy reading,
Dan

P.S. Keep an eye out for upcoming teasers!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Translucent #4 Halloween Teaser

Happy Halloween!

I hope you all are having an awesome weekend! In honor of Halloween, I wanted to give you all the first taste of the fourth book in the Translucent series. I'll be announcing the title and cover in the next few weeks, and if you want to be the first to know about it, make to sure sign up for my mailing list here! Without further ado, here's the first teaser!

Translucent #4, Teaser 1

I took my seat in English the next day feeling like an imposter. The rest of the class shuffled in with bright eyes and hushed voices, like they could sense the electric tingle of autumn in the air. They looked like strangers.

I hadn’t been here Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. Someone else had been here in my place, sat in my seat, answered for me during roll call. What had she said to people? What decisions had she made on my behalf? What references and inside jokes would I now miss?

I’d kept a lookout for her throughout the day, but she’d at least kept up her end of the bargain and skipped school. Some bargain that had been. What on Earth had possessed me to negotiate for school? And in exchange for the right to live in my house? Crappy deal.

Although technically I was still using my house, just not when she was around.

School could suck it.

Yet here I was, trying to claim some part of my life as mine. I had waved to Megan in the halls. She’d waved back. I’d stayed inside during lunch to work on homework so I wouldn’t have to talk to her.

Was it just me, or were people giving me weird looks?

Tina Wilkes moseyed in.

“Hey, girl,” she said perkily, plopping into the seat behind me.

I glanced around to see who she’d spoken to, but no one else from her posse of friends—I knew them all, because they used to be my friends—took AP English. She gave me a funny look.

She was talking to me.

“Uh . . . hey,” I said. 

Then came Andrew.

He planted his palms on our desks and swung back and forth in the aisle.

“Leona,” he said.

“Andrew,” I said.

“Leona, Leona, Leona,” he said.

I glanced back at Tina, thinking this was some kind of joke. But she only giggled and rolled her eyes—for my benefit—like it was our inside joke.

The hell was this?

“So, next Friday . . . Halloween,” he said, still swinging like an orangutan.

“Yes, it is,” I agreed.

“Epic rager at my place,” he said. “You’re coming.”

“Uh . . .”

“Yeah right, Andrew,” Tina sneered. “Leona’s got better things to do on Halloween . . . like hang out with her hot senior boyfriend.”

Andrew and I both blushed.

“Just thought I’d ask,” he muttered darkly, lifting his palm off my desk. “Eugh, why’s your desk all sticky?”

“Emory’s cum,” said Tina.

“Oh my God, shut up,” I hissed.

Andrew scraped at his hand and hunkered down in his own desk, looking like a kicked puppy. I felt bad for him. Technically, I wasn’t dating anyone.

“But seriously,” Tina whispered, leaning in behind me. “Ditch your boy for the night so we can go. It’ll only make him want you more.”

I opened my mouth to fire back something sassy, but a rush of déjà vu swept over me.

In my absence, my doppelgänger had made peace with Tina and Andrew. This all felt just like last year—me and Tina and Megan and all our friends being shallow and rude and thinking we were hot shit.

I gave a noncommittal shrug instead, feeling more and more weirded out by the second.

It was just like last night, how she’d denied killing Ashley as if for her the whole thing had never happened…or hadn’t yet happened. Megan had picked up on it too.

She was acting like me from last year…but why?

Was she an earlier version of me?

“Huck Finn essays in the bin,” Mrs. Holbrooke called, nudging the door stop with her toe until the door slammed shut.

The volume in the classroom spiked as students jostled to the front, rustling papers and talking over each other.

I stared at my blank desk.

“Nice. You didn’t do it either?” Tina said behind me, also not moving.

Was she like my new best friend?

Next to me, Andrew wiped his hand on his jeans, opened his binder and extracted a crisp five-page essay, then wiped his hand on his jeans again.

“Dude, what the hell?” he muttered, picking at something on his finger.

He climbed to his feet, took a halting step toward the front, and dropped his essay. It fluttered to the ground, where it was trampled by the kids shoving past him.

Now he had my attention.

His eyebrows knotted. He rubbed his finger, then scraped at it, then tore at it. “What the hell?” he muttered again, louder this time.

His thumb.

His thumb had receded to the first joint, baring a tiny cross-section of purple flesh and white bone.

My heart bottomed out in my stomach.

I sat up straight, glanced around for help. No one to help. I stood, sending my desk screeching to the side.

“Andrew, peel it off,” I said calmly. “Just peel it off.”

“I’m trying,” he moaned. “It’s under my skin.”

“With your fingernail, get under the seam . . . ”

But his movements fell into uncoordinated hysteria. He raked at the back of his wrist, clawed at it, scraped off white flakes of skin, which shriveled and went invisible. He’d never get it off that way.

“Andrew, you need to calm down,” I said.

“I can’t get it off . . . I can’t get it off!” he cried. “It’s under my skin . . .”

As I watched, horrified, his thumb eroded to a stump, and the hole began to eat away at his hand like something had taken a bite out him.

The kids behind him noticed. “Whoa. Dude.”

“Andrew’s got a sweet Halloween trick,” someone shouted, and the class converged on him, elbowing and laughing and jostling for position. Someone knocked me to the side.

“That’s awesome! How’s he doing that?”

“No, no, no, that’s real, that’s real!”

“Holy crap, that’s real!”

“Everyone back to their seats,” shouted Mrs. Holbrooke. “What’s going on over there?”

A girl screamed, then another, and all at once, the kids scattered, stampeded, desks toppled.

“It’s alive, it’s . . . it’s crawling under . . . Jesus freaking—get out, get out of there!” Andrew swatted at his arm, scratched at his shoulder, flailed and scratched everywhere, like he was being eaten alive by tiny insects. His arm receded to a hideous stump.

It had to be now . . . now or never.

I leapt over his desk, seized his arm, and picked at the advancing dark matter with my thumbnail, shutting everything else out but him.

But it was too deep, already fusing to his skin.

“A knife . . . someone give me a knife!” I spun back toward the class, who stared back at me in wide-eyed terror.

No one moved.

I scanned the room, frantic. There, Mrs. Holbrooke’s desk, huge pair of scissors.

Gripping Andrew’s invisible arm, I yanked him to the front of the room and threw him down on the desk, then grabbed the scissors and whipped them open over his chest, angling the blade toward his neck.

“What are you doing?” he whimpered.

“Don’t move,” I hissed through gritted teeth.

“Leona!” Mrs. Holbrooke yelled. “Drop the scissors.”

Dark matter raced over his shoulders. I held the blade poised, ready to attack, biting my lip. Had to time this just right . . . Now! 

I plunged the blade into his flesh and dug under the seam, prying it out. He screamed and thrashed. Pinning him down with my elbows, I pinched the dark matter and tugged it back, uprooting it from his flesh. Blood dribbled down and pooled above his collarbone.

I peeled it back from his shoulder, scraped it down his arm, and rolled it off his fingertip into my waiting palm—a writhing heap of invisible folds—which I dumped in Mrs. Holbrooke’s coffee thermos and promptly sealed.

Andrew moaned and rolled away, clutching his bleeding—and still visible—shoulder. I straightened up to face the class, panting from the effort.

“It’s called dark matter,” I said. “If it gets on you, it makes you invisible and takes you to a horrible, horrible place. If this ever starts to happen to you, get help immediately.”

***

If you enjoyed that, make sure to sign up for my mailing list here to get all the latest news on Translucent #4!

Happy reading,
Dan

Monday, October 12, 2015

Ash and Darkness (Translucent #3) Playlist

Hey all! For those of you interested in the songs that inspired me while writing Ash and Darkness (Translucent #3), here's the Spotify playlist! I hope you enjoy it!

By the way, as an aside, I'll be posting next year's book schedule up here soon, so if you were interested in learning when the next Timeloopers and Translucent novels were slated to come out, as well as what my next projects will be, keep an eye out!

Happy reading!

Dan

Monday, September 14, 2015

Ash and Darkness (Translucent #3) is Out Now!

“I’m invisible,” I sobbed into his chest. “It’s dark matter. I put it on, and now I can’t get it off . . .” 

I've been looking forward to this release day for far too long! :) I’m excited to announce that my new book Ash and Darkness (Translucent #3) is now live! You can find it here on Amazon. Here's the back flap description:

It’s called dark matter, a living substance secreted by a meteorite that can make people invisible. Sixteen-year-old Leona Hewitt has been wearing it for twelve hours. It should be every teen’s fantasy—unbeatable pranks, a front row seat in her crush’s bedroom, a place to lick her wounds all alone. And it is . . . it is. 

Until she can’t get it off. 

In an instant, the fantasy becomes a nightmare. She’s stuck like this, invisible. Scratching at it, burning it off, cutting her skin off with a knife—nothing works. Dark matter is eating her, consuming her body like a bacteriophage and leaving behind a ghost. 

But when she wakes up in her bedroom, seemingly back to normal—only to find the city outside abandoned and ghostly quiet, she realizes she’s been transported to an impossible parallel realm. Electronics barely function, food turns mealy and rotten, fire snuffs out in seconds . . . and the only signs of life are the clues to a strange riddle left behind by a dead girl.


***

So far, this has been the toughest Translucent book to write, but also the most rewarding (and, not going to lie, it's my favorite of the series so far). I’m proud to share it with you today. I hope you enjoy it :-)

For those of you not familiar with my Translucent series, here's a teaser:

What if you had the power to become invisible for a price? Would you pay it? I did, … and I paid. Dearly.




You can find Translucent here on Amazon.

Happy reading,
Dan


Monday, August 31, 2015

Ash and Darkness, Teaser #3

Hi readers!

In two weeks, Ash and Darkness (Translucent #3), the third novel in my YA sci-fi series, hits shelves! In honor of its release, I've been sharing teasers of the novel. For those of you unfamiliar with my Translucent series, make sure to check out the first novel in the series, Translucent, here! Without further ado, here's the third and final teaser I'll post! (I'll be posting another on my Facebook page next week, so if you want to read more, make sure to check my page out here!)

Ash and Darkness, Teaser #3

I needed to find someone . . . anyone.

In the middle of the deserted intersection of State Street and Las Positas, I coasted my bike to a stop, swung my leg over the bar, and kicked out the kickstand. I stood and turned in a slow circle, shading my eyes against the glare and peering up the length of each street in awe.

Not one car in sight.

From here to the horizon, not a single moving car—no roaring buses spewing soot, no loud motorcycles rupturing my eardrums, no minivans taking kids to weekend soccer games . . . and no pedestrians.

Just silence.

A dozen city blocks of silence.

I’d made it halfway to Emory’s house. I couldn’t ignore it anymore. As far as I could see, heat waves rippled off hot asphalt and fused into a silvery haze on the horizon. The stoplights—all of them dark—stood over deserted intersections, baking in the midday sun.

And all so eerily still. My long hair hung limp and motionless, scalding my neck. Towering over the abandoned sidewalks, the ficus trees stood still as statues. Not one leaf fluttered.

My gaze panned to Loreto Plaza Shopping Center—with Gelson’s Market and Chase Bank and Chaucer’s Books—and my confusion deepened. The parking lot was deserted. Rows and rows of empty spaces, only one parked car—a beat-up Station Wagon lurking sketchily on the fringes.

On a Sunday?

Normally I had to wait five minutes just for a break in traffic to make a left turn out of that lot.

I’d stopped in the middle of a busy intersection at lunchtime on Sunday. So . . . where was everyone? Where were my parents? Where was Megan?

Plus I’d been biking past residential homes all morning, and I’d seen no one. Where were all the lawnmowers? The kids on skateboards, the people walking their dogs, the dads working in their garages?

Evacuated.

The word just popped into my mind.

But even that seemed farfetched. To virtually empty a city? It would take days. There would be stragglers, air raid sirens, the National Guard.


No, there was a simple, obvious explanation. There had to be. Something I was missing. But what?

***

If you enjoyed that, click here to check out and pre-order Ash and Darkness (Translucent #3) from Amazon!

Happy reading!
Dan

Monday, August 24, 2015

Ash and Darkness, Teaser #2

Hey, hey readers! In three weeks Ash and Darkness, the third novel in my Translucent series, hits the shelves, and today I wanted to share another teaser with you! For those of you who haven’t heard of this series of mine, it’s a YA sci-fi series about a strange substance seventeen year old Leona Hewitt finds at the center of a crater that can make her invisible—for a price.

Ash and Darkness, Teaser #2
 
“Emory, can you . . . can you hear me?” A knot tightened in my throat.

Leona?” He traced my hand back to my wrist, his gaze searching the air where I’d spoken.

He could.

“Uh . . . Emory,” I gulped. “There’s . . . there’s something I need to tell you.”

“This is fantastic.” His hand reached my shoulder and moved to my face, my hair. “I thought you were exaggerating, but this . . . what are you . . . how is this . . . ?” His fingers brushed my cheek and lingered on the tears, and he frowned.

“I’m invisible,” I moaned, explaining nothing. I caught his hand and squeezed my eyes shut against his wrist, suddenly trembling all over. “It’s dark matter, I can’t get it off. I put it on, and it got under my skin, and now I can’t get it off, and . . . and it’s eating me alive, and I’m going to be stuck like this forever—” And then I broke down and wept like a four-year-old.

“Hey, hey . . . stop it.” He cupped the side of my head and angled it to look me in the eye. “It’s going to be okay. We’re going to tell my dad. He’ll know what to do. We’re going to get you out of this, alright?”

I nodded, and a little whimper rose in my throat.

“Come here,” he said gruffly. He pulled me into a hug, and I collapsed shivering against his chest, arms tucked between us. In his strong embrace, I became real again, flesh and blood, touchable. I didn’t care that I was naked.

He noticed.

His arms paused on my backside, and my skin turned molten under the imprint of his palms. “Did it eat your clothes, Leona?”

My face flushed. “It doesn’t go on over clothes,” I muttered, eyes still dripping. “It’s not like you can see me.”

“Right, because this leaves so much more to the imagination.” His palm skimmed up my spine, leaving a wake of goosebumps before it froze on the nick in my shoulder. His body tensed.

In about two more seconds, he found the scab on the side of my rib cage where Ashley had jabbed me with the fireplace poker—I winced at his touch—and then the wound on my neck. “What happened?” he growled.

“Stop it . . . nothing,” I lied, burying my face in his chest to escape his prodding.

“Leona,” he warned.

“Can you please not ask about that right now?” My voice came out muffled. “Or ever?”

We lapsed into strained silence.

“I love you,” I whispered into his chest, trying to shut it all out, my cheek slippery against his bare pecs. Then I cringed, realizing what I’d just said. Can you not be pathetic for five seconds?

He pet my hair, said nothing. His chest rose and fell under my face. Probably wondering how to deal with the crazy, desperate, naked, invisible girl who’d snuck into his bedroom—

He sighed and reluctantly breathed into my hair, “I love you too.” Like it was barely true, or only true now and wouldn’t be later, or he didn’t want it to be true.

But true.

At his words, my heart floated up inside me like a helium balloon . . . before it popped and my body went rigid in horror. Uh-oh.

What the hell was wrong with me? What was I thinking?


“No, no, you can’t,” I gasped, pulling away. “There’s . . . there’s something you need to know . . . about me. Before I fade away completely.”

***

If you enjoyed that, click here to see Ash and Darkness on Amazon! And make sure to check out my Facebook page for the next few weeks as I giveaway signed books and Amazon gift cards!

Happy reading,
Dan

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Ash and Darkness Teaser #1

Hi readers!

I hope you all had amazing weekends and, for those of you who are heading back to school, great summers. (But seriously, where did it go? I swear it was June only yesterday.) As much as I’m sad to see summer end, I’m excited for fall. The chillier weather, pumpkin spice everything (yeah, I’m not afraid to admit I’m hooked on the stuff), football games, and … Ash and Darkness’s release!

On September 14, Ash and Darkness (Translucent #3) hits the shelves! I’m beyond excited to share this installment with you. So excited, in fact, that I’ve decided to post teasers every Tuesday for the next three weeks! If you haven’t read the description for Ash and Darkness, click here to do so. And if you haven’t started my Translucent series, click here to see Translucent, the first novel in the series.

Now, without further ado, teaser #1:

Ash and Darkness (Translucent #3), Teaser #1

I stared in horror as the wood pointer scraped across the Ouija board, spelling out another message.

It pointed to the letter ‘I.’

It pointed to the letter ‘A.’

But . . . but who was moving it?

It slid to ‘M’ next. I gaped in disbelief. What was moving it? I leaned forward to watch as it skidded over to ‘D,’ then ‘A.’

I tried to swallow, but couldn’t quite manage, could only stare in disbelief as it slowly crept to ‘R.’

Finally, it pointed to ‘K’ and stopped.

I AM DARK.

My pulse rang in my ears, and a dry pressure built at the base of my throat. It was talking to me again—the creature, dark matter—like it had through my cell phone.

But this was different.

This time it had acted directly on the physical world, it had moved an actual object.

Something was wrong with my left arm, I realized belatedly. It felt wrong. Numb. Like it had been in a funky position for too long and the nerves had stopped responding. Perplexed, I lifted it up . . . and felt my hand lift up from the planchette.

The planchette.

Where it had been resting the entire time.

In a moment of sickening clarity, I understood.

My own invisible hand had moved the planchette, not something else. Dark matter had acted through me.

I was becoming its puppet.


As I faded, its presence grew stronger. Soon, all of me would be gone, and the only thing left would be . . . it.

***

Ash and Darkness is available for pre-order, and I’m hosting several giveaways on Facebook exclusively to readers who’ve pre-ordered the book, so, (1) click here to see Ash and Darkness on Amazon, and then (2) check out my Facebook page to get in on my giveaways!

Happy reading,
Dan