Book Jacket


rank 5908
word count 64056
date submitted 19.01.2012
date updated 06.03.2012
genres: Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Young Ad...
classification: universal


Apryl Baker

Snap...crackle...pop. The sounds of bones breaking and shifting and of muscles tearing haunt Alexandria Reed.


For the last five years, Alex has been locked up at Compton Academy, a "school" for the emotionally challenged. She calls it the politically correct way of saying they’re all nuts and Alex has no doubts she’s insane. She comes home to Jacob's Fork to face the demons she left behind her after deceiving the doctors into believing she’s well. Soon after her arrival home though, news of her estranged mother's death brings her uncle back into her life and she and her brother, Jason, learn a terrifying secret about their family.

After questioning her sanity for the last ten years, she discovers the night terrors she's suffered for so long has become a reality. She and her brother are now being hunted because of the secret her family has killed to protect. Her world has been turned upside down, every belief she held true destroyed. Aided by her new friends, who have some dark secrets themselves, can she and Jason survive long enough to figure out the secret behind the secret?

Awakening is the first book in the series Bloodlines

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Chapter Twenty Six


    I went looking for a quiet place to try and get control of the emotions running riot in me. 

I ended up in the auditorium.  I need time to think, to adjust to the new sensation of something stretching under my skin.  Going to class like this is out of the question

    When Janna told me she was responsible for the hoe-hag, I snapped.  It amounted to waving a red flag in front of bull.  The wolf broke free of her prison and our minds melded until I couldn’t find my own voice separate from hers.  In that moment, all I knew was this trespasser challenged me, dared to confront me…STOP IT!

    My hands shake.  I know I have to stop, to gain control, but all I can feel is the urge to sink my teeth into her and shake…NO.  For cripes sake, Alex, get a grip.

    Morgan hovers at the edge of my consciousness, but he’s smart enough to leave me alone right now.  He’s there if I need him and that’s all that matters

    How had I missed the signs?  I’d seen the change in Jason when his wolf started waking up.  I should have realized all the rage I’ve been feeling lately was more than simple anger.  I seemed to stay angry anymore same as Jason had.  I’d dismissed it.  Stupid move that.  I’d almost lost it right there in the hallway.  If it hadn’t been for Devon…

    A weary sigh escapesGoing back to the nut house was sounding more and more like a possibility.  It was safe and I’d never have to worry about hurting anyone again.  They’d keep me locked up in the padded cell and heavily medicated.  No more worries about the wolf getting out or of my hurting someone.


    How did my life manage to get so screwed up that the place I’d worked to escape was sounding more and more like a salvation?  All I wanted was to fit in, to make some friends, and to maybe learn how to have some fun.  What did I end up with?  Shifters and freaky magic.  I want to scream at the unfairness of it all.  It’s just plain wrong. 

    All I really want is to be normal, but is that what I got?   No.  Instead, I’m sitting here trying to deal with a creature stretching her limbs under my skin.  How is that even remotely fair?

    I never heard the door open, but I am aware of him the moment he steps into the auditorium.  He sinks down into a seat in the row behind me.

    “Leave me alone, Devon.”

    “I cannot, Cara.”

    Why, oh why must he call me that?  My heart does a little flip-flop of pain.

    “You almost shifted in a hallway full of children, Alexandria.  I had to push a lot of power into you to stop the shift.  I need to make sure you are well.”

    “I know,” I whispered.  Like I could forget something like that?

    “What happened?”

    “I really don’t want to talk it about it.”

    “Are you alright?” he asked.

    “What do you care?”


    “I’m fine, Devon,” I sigh.  “I’m always fine.  Please, just go and leave me alone.”

    He sighs.  “Cara, I cannot leave you like this.  Please tell me what happened.  I need to understand.”

    He’s as bad as Saidie when he starts worrying a bone.  “It was Janna.”


    “She told me she put Felicia up to making you go out with her and I just…I don’t know…I snapped.”

    “Alexandria, no one can make me do what I don’t want to.”

    I know that.  It’s why it hurts so much.

    “Why?” I ask, staring at my clenched hands.  “Why her and not me?”

    He curses.  “Alexandria…”

    “No, I want to know, Devon.”  I turn around and stare into his beautiful emerald eyes.  “Why?”

    It takes me only seconds to realize he isn’t going to answer.  I face forward again, unable to bear to look at the stone mask of his face.  Even his eyes have gone expressionless.

    “I did not mean to hurt you, bellisima…”

    “Don’t call me that,” I bite out.  “Just go away.”

    “No, I will not just go away,” he sighs.  “You are angry and hurt.  I care about you…”

    “You care?” I snap.

“Yes, of course I care,” he snaps back, beginning to get angry himself. 

    “Go away!” my voice cracks and tears threaten.  Why won’t he go away and just leave me alone?  Stupid, stupid boy.

    “No, I will not, Alexandria,” his voice softens.  “You do not understand what you mean to me, do you?  You are my…friend and I haven’t had a friend in centuries.  When you look at me, you don’t see the monster.  You see me.  That is more precious to me than anything in this world.”

    Stupid, stupid boy, please go away.

    “Do you remember that day in the car when you asked me if I knew what I wanted?  I thought about it for a long time and decided that I would for once do what was best for someone besides myself.  What I want is you, but that means I might lose you, that I might not be able to keep you safe.  You are in pain and I’m sorry, but getting you killed is not an option.  I know you don’t understand my choices, but don’t doubt that I care about you.”  He leans forward and his voice whispers softly against my ear, sending shivers down my spine.  “Never doubt for a moment that I care, my Cara.”

    With that he leaves.  I smash my hand into the back of the seat in front of me needing to hit something.  It splinters

    My head falls into my hands and I cry until the tears will no longer fall.

    Stupid, stupid boy.





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Jehmka wrote 705 days ago

Awakening was a shocking surprise for me. How is it that a book, this well-written, can be so poorly neglected by authonomy readers? I have just finished sampling two other books, ranked among the top 100, which I could not in all good conscience back.

OK… Now that I got the rant out of my way…

Awaking is compelling.
The writing is clean and crisp, with a contemporary feel. “I taste blood as I stare into hell.” There's a good balance between narrative and dialogue throughout, both of which are convincing. It’s easy to read, and kept me continuously engaged. I immediately liked Alex Reed. She brought to mind Susanna Kaysen, the MC in Girl Interrupted.

I can’t leave anything un-nitpicked though.
“Very weird.” I have a tendency to do this in my writing too – adding these little bits of telling. “Very bizarre.” I would delete these and see how it reads, see if you lose anything. I don't think they're needed.

““Long story.” I shift in my seat. It isn’t something I want to go into. I don’t know Saidie well enough to spill my secrets. It’s a miracle…” It feels to me like you're saying too much here, spoon-feeding the reader – telling.

That’s it! That’s all I could find to complain about.

I give Awakening the full six stars. I’ll certainly recommend it to others too.

Philthy wrote 722 days ago

Hi Apryl,
I’m here for our read swap. So sorry it’s taken me this long to get here. Below are my findings/comments. They are of course my humblest opinions so take them for whatever they’re worth and feel free to disregard what you don’t agree with.
Chapter One
Great opening-line hook.
“Just calm down.” If you mutter it, I think it ought to be in quotes.
Not sure “looms” is the best word there. It makes it sound like it appears out of thin air.
“behind those doors almost as bad as the storm…” I’d add “is” after “almost” to avoid fragmenting.
“overheard” should be “overhead”
Your language is very strong and you have a great sense of building tension. I think at times you get excessively wordy, however. Sometimes it seems like you’re trying to add to the drama, but in reality, the extra wordiness has the opposite effect. It also steers you sometimes more toward telling as opposed to showing. For instance, “But that person is gone, I remind myself forcefully.” How does the MC remind him/herself forcefully? That’s kind of vague. Instead, show us an action or expression so we can see the MC reminding himself in a forceful manner.
Otherwise, this is a great start. You have a great YA voice and strong dialogue, which makes for solid characterization. A likeable MC, too. I can see this doing well here.
Best of luck!
(Deshay of the Woods)

Edwin P. Magezi wrote 744 days ago

This is intriguing. It has a strong narrative voice in Alex. I loved the way you described your characters, very vivid and almost personal.
The prose is clean as far as my untrained eyes can see and I barely found any errors to nitpick.

Chapter 1
-> She just looks way to perky -- (too)

You should start campaigning for your book to get it noticed. I'm sure it will pick up backings from the YA writers and more.

Highly rated and will keep it on my w/l till I have space to shelve it.

Edwin - The First Oath.

Oriax wrote 773 days ago

This isn’t my usual kind of read, but I’ve enjoyed the story so far. You have a very fluid style and a great sense of detail. I’m not sure about the opening, I’d be tempted to go straight into chapter one. The prologue just tells us vaguely what we are going to find out in the first chapter anyway. I’d change the word eulogy to epitaph, since she isn’t really giving herself praise.
I like the way you have the storm mirror Alex’s mood. Your descriptions of the new people Alex meets are extremely well done. I have very definite pictures of all of them.
The pace of the story is good too, keeping the background until chapter three so it doesn’t hinder the action. You hint at The Event and Alex’s breakdown, without giving away the details. You then make the transition to a dreamlike sequence with Alex as a big predator, which is clever in that we assume this is something to do with her problems of rage control. Maybe also the mysterious event.
The only thing that didn’t work particularly well for me was all the exchanges with the three boys. There’s a bit too much staring going on and shivers up and down the spine for me. Add the unique eye colours, blue-black hair and you’re heading a bit too close to cliché.

You write very well, the story is appealing and well-paced, with a strong hint of mystery and fantasy. There’s a strong budding romance too, and the threat of the bully from the past bringing Alex’s nightmares back to the surface again.
Well done. I’ve given this five stars and think it will do extremely well with its target audience.

Shelby Z. wrote 785 days ago

I read to 25 and boy has it gotten crazy.
I not normally do I care fore these types of stories, but there is something about it I like.
Good work.

Shelby Z./Driving Winds

Shelby Z. wrote 787 days ago

Read to chapter 9.
You have a great style to develop your story and characters.
I want to read some more later.
Good luck.

Shelby Z./Driving Winds

katjay wrote 787 days ago

Hi Apryl
Sorry to be late getting back to you – I’ve busy editing. Have just read the first few chapters of Awakening and I’m impressed. You have an easy, natural writing style. Some fine, descriptive passages and the dialogue is natural and totally suited to the setting and your target market. Alex is an engaging MC and it’s great to see her overcome her doubts and fears. I loved it when she first stood up to Janna: ‘Then again, if I had been in a psycho ward all these years, making me angry might not be the brightest idea, either.’ Well done!
Kat x Hens from Hell

Marisa Elyse wrote 789 days ago

Reading your first few chapters, I did connect with your MC. Your writing is good and descriptive, haunting if I were to describe it. Seeing as how this is a YA Romance story, I expected the almost instant connection between the MC and the guy, so be careful of not making it too cliche.

Also, be careful of info dumps when it comes to explaining something. The tiny bit before the beginning of the first chapter was really good and set the tone of the story, but I think you can ax the whole 'I am MC, and this is my story', since we'll find out it's her story when the first chapter starts.

Besides those quirks, I do find the story you have interesting, and will look forward to reading more from you in the future.

Tower of Paradise

Marisa Elyse wrote 789 days ago

Reading your first few chapters, I did connect with your MC. Your writing is good and descriptive, haunting if I were to describe it. Seeing as how this is a YA Romance story, I expected the almost instant connection between the MC and the guy, so be careful of not making it too cliche.

Also, be careful of info dumps when it comes to explaining something. The tiny bit before the beginning of the first chapter was really good and set the tone of the story, but I think you can ax the whole 'I am MC, and this is my story', since we'll find out it's her story when the first chapter starts.

Besides those quirks, I do find the story you have interesting, and will look forward to reading more from you in the future.

Tower of Paradise

Shelby Z. wrote 791 days ago

I read just chapter one, but I fine it really interesting. The way you put it in first person is really creative. It makes the reader feel all your main character does.
It moves at an easy pace here, but that is good since it is to introduce things to to the reader.
You really did a good job here.
Great work!

Shelby Z./Driving Winds

Dianna Lanser wrote 798 days ago


I too read the first three chapters of your book. I am very impressed at your writing style and your abilty to bring your characters to life. Very easy and enjoyable reading. I especially was aware of the gift you have of describing people, especially their eyes - unique words and colors. Alex seems like a strong girl despite her difficult past, but she has a suportive family to help her through. I believe you have built the background story very nicely and to tell you the truth, I don't want to stop reading but I have to go my daughter's Valentine Party at school. Six stars and I'll be back to read more.

Dianna Lanser
Nothing But The Blood

FRAN MACILVEY wrote 814 days ago

Dear Apryl

I have read the first three chapters of "Awakening" which is a well observed tale, perfectly pitched for your YA audience. Your writing is very clear, vivid and easy to get along with. Many of the references pass me by, but that hardly matters: a great read.

All the best

Fran Macilvey, "Trapped"

Dilettante wrote 819 days ago

Well written, and an engaging main character. This is a good story. Well done, Backed and recommended.

Lenny H wrote 819 days ago

On my WL

Wavy3 wrote 820 days ago

Wow, your writing style is impressive. It's very haunting, and reflects the tone beautifully. The opening scene really drew me in, and then when the first chapter started it had the same feel of just jumping straight into the story. You hint at a background, but don't throw it in our faces, which makes me want to read on.

ozhm wrote 820 days ago

Fantasy and YA wouldn’t necessarily be my first choice, but this is compelling. The reality of everyday teen concerns balances the fantasy angle so well that I accepted the whole without a blink.

I like the short pitch, but I wonder if the long pitch is could be tightened somehow. You’ve given us what amounts to a précis, and I’m not sure whether hints might be better than spelling it out. Breaking it up into short paras would help too, I think.

Alex is a great MC. I’m drawn into her life immediately, her hopes and fears are completely believable and you’ve revealed her circumstances and back-story at very satisfying pace.

I’m also impressed with your writing and style. On a sentence level, (sorry, very nit-picky!) there are a few typos etc, but I’m sure you’ll sort them out on the next edit. The same applies to your use of tense. I like the idea of using past and present as you have, but you may need to check that you haven’t slipped from one to the other where you shouldn’t have.

Good luck with it. It deserves support.
Helen Meikle
Six Weeks in Summer.