Book Jacket

 

rank 5909
word count 64056
date submitted 19.01.2012
date updated 06.03.2012
genres: Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Young Ad...
classification: universal
complete

Awakening

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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tags

, faire, fairies, fey, high school, mystery, paranormal, paranormal romance, romance, teen romance, teens, thriller, vampires, weres, werewolves, wicc...

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Chapters

30

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30

Chapter Thirty

 

Fire roars to life inside of me, my blood sings with a primitive power that I’ve never known.  I can feel the heat of that fire against the cool lips pressed to mine.  I whimper, afraid of the emotions overwhelming me.  Devon takes complete possession of me like some invading conqueror and I am helpless to stop him.  Not that I want to, mind you.  This is what I have wanted, dreamed about since the first day I’d met him.  And boy can he kiss.  It’s the kind of kiss little girls dream about and the kind big girls decide only exist on the pages of a book.  It makes me forget everything.

His hand catches my hair at the base of my scalp and pulls it, tilting my head.  He sweeps his lips over mine again and again.  A low moan slides from me and I wrap my hands around his neck, urging him closer.  I can feel his power coarse over my skin, through it.  My own power flares to meet his and strokes it.

Then I am free and he is standing ten feet away, cursing violently.  I slide down the wall, unable to stand.  My breathing is hard and ragged like I’ve just run a ten mile marathon.  I want to scratch every inch of my skin and the buzzing in my ears sounds like an angry swarm of hornets.  And I want him to kiss me again.

He walks slowly back over to me and I see that he’s in much the same state.  “I am sorry, Cara.  That was a mistake.”

A mistake?  Kissing me had been a mistake?  I can’t stop the tears this time.  It’s my first kiss, the one I will remember to my dying day, and he calls it a mistake.

“No, bellisima, don’t cry.”  He squats down in front of me and takes my hands.  “I did not mean it the way it sounded.”

“Then what did you mean?” I ask through a hiccup. 

“No, Cara, I would not take back that kiss for all the world, but it can never happen again.  I…”

“What is wrong with you, you stupid boy?” I cry

“I am not good for you, Alexandria.”

“But why?” I ask, my voice ragged with tears.

Gravel crunched behind us.

“Get your hands off her.”

We both swivel our heads around to see Tom staring at us.  He takes one look at my tears and lets out a bellow.  He reaches Devon in about two seconds and hauls him up, his fist rearing back for the first punch.  It never lands.  Tom goes sailing backwards.  Devon stalks towards him.

“Devon, don’t!”  I push up run after him.

“Stay out of this, Alex.”  Tom is on his feet and swinging.  Devon ducks and his fist lands in Tom’s face.  Tom curses and goes at him again.

I see Morgan sprinting towards us.  Thank God.  Morgan would put a stop to this.  He reaches them the same time I do.  Tom takes another dive backwards and into me.  I go down, my hands scraping over the loose gravel that litters the ground.

“Ouch!” A sharp rock slices into my hand and a long jagged cut runs across the palm.

Morgan grabs Devon and tells him something to low for me to hear.  Morgan gives me a worried look and drags Devon back inside.

Tom shakes his head and pulls himself up.  “You’re bleeding.”

“It’s a scrape,” I tell him. 

“No,” he takes my hand.  “It’s more than a scrape.  Let’s get you inside and cleaned up.”

Cleaned up?  It’s only then that I realize what I must look like.  My hair is mussed, my lips swollen from Devon’s kisses and I’m bleeding.  What must Tom think of me?

“Tom…”

“No, Alex, don’t say anything.”  He steers me around the building.  “I tried to keep an eye on Cameron all night.  I saw the way he looked at you when we came in and I didn’t want something like this to happen.  I’m sorry I didn’t get here sooner.”

“Tom it’s not your fault…your eye!”  His eye is already swelling and bruising.

“I’ve had worse,” he dismisses and tries to take me back into the gym.

No way is that gonna happen.  Janna would have a field day with this.  “Will you please just take me home?”

He looks at me and nods.  I crawl in his car and he goes back inside to get my sweater and coat.  We are silent all the way home and I jump out of his car before it’s even pulled to a complete stop in front of my house. 

“I’m sorry,” I mutter and run up the steps and into the house.  I make it to the upstairs hall bathroom.  Dad pounds on the door less than a minute later.

“Alex?”

“Yeah, Dad?”

“Are you okay, honey?  You came tearing up here.”

“No, no, I’m fine, Dad.  Just had to pee really bad.”

“You don’t sound like you’re…”

“Dad!”

“Okay, okay,” he mutters.  “I’m going to bed so if you need me…”

“I’m fine, Dad, honest.  Just tired.”

I hear him walk down the hall and his bedroom door shuts.  I heave a sigh of relief.  I glimpse my red, tear streaked face in the mirror and shudder to think about trying to explain to my dad why I’m crying. 

I wash my face and clean the cut on my handMy lips still throb with the force of Devon’s kiss and I brush them softly with my fingers.  A mistake.  Why did he think it was a mistake?

I creep back to my room and change into my pj’s.  I think about going to bed but know I’ll just lay there tossing and turning.  Instead, I go downstairs intending to get a glass of something, but find myself in my dad’s office staring at the picture of my mom on the mantle of the fireplace.

Alecia Reed was beautiful.  Long sable colored hair framed a heart shaped face.  Her eyes, my eyes, laugh out at me from the frame.  She had always been laughing.  She should be here.  I need her.  She should be sitting with me in the kitchen and listening to me tell her about how stupid Devon Cameron is.  But no, she’d left, went and died on me and I had no one.  I need my mamma right now more than I’ve ever needed her and she isn’t here.

Why aren’t you here?” I ask the picture.  Her laughing eyes are my only answer.

“I know you left us because you thought it was the right thing to do, but it wasn’t.  Why couldn’t you see that?”  I rail at the picture.  “I need you, Mamma.”

“Shh, Sis, it’s okay,” Jason puts an arm around me.  I didn’t hear him come in.  He’s either getting better at being quiet or I was too upset for my heightened senses to work.  “I’m here and you can talk to Emma in the morning.

“It’s not the same, Jason,” I whisper.  “I…”

“I know,” he soothes.  “I need her too.”

I lean into my brother and stare at the picture of my mother.  Maybe this is how it starts, I think, maybe forgiving her starts with letting out the anger.  It is a start, I decide as we head upstairs.  That’s all I’m willing to give her right now.

 

Chapters

30

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Jehmka wrote 704 days ago

Apryl,
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 721 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!
Phil
(Deshay of the Woods)

Edwin P. Magezi wrote 743 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

Apryl,
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.
Jane

Shelby Z. wrote 784 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 786 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 786 days ago

Awakening
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 788 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.

Cheers,
Marisa
Tower of Paradise

Marisa Elyse wrote 788 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.

Cheers,
Marisa
Tower of Paradise

Shelby Z. wrote 790 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 797 days ago

Apryl,

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 813 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 818 days ago

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

Lenny H wrote 818 days ago

On my WL

Wavy3 wrote 819 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 819 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.

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