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


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 Thirty One


    The banging on the door wakes me up.  I sit up and look at the clock through blood shot eyes.  7:30 am.  No way am I getting up right now.

    “Go away!” I call.  “It’s too early!”

    More pounding. 

    I am seriously going to kill my brother.  I throw the covers back and storm over to the door, yanking it open.

    “Jason, I swear to God…” I stop mid-sentence, my mouth falling open.  Tom Wallace quirks an eyebrow at me.  My hands fly to my hair.  Oh God.  I slam the door closed.

    “I thought you were through hiding from me,” he calls through the door.

    “What are you doing here?” I ask, frantically trying to calm my bed head hair.  Curls refuse to take kindly to finger combing. 

    “I wanted to talk to you.  Will you open the door?”

    Why me?  Why does this always happen to me? 

    “Please, Alex?”

    I open the door and try to pretend my face isn’t beet red.  “I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to slam the door in your face.  You just startled me and…”

    “You bolted,” he smiles.  “I’m used to that so I figured if I talked to you up here you couldn’t go very far if you tried to run.”

    “How did you get up here?” I ask.  No way would dad let him up.

    “Jase let me up.  The black eye impressed him, I think.  I get the feeling he’s a little afraid of Cameron.”

    Yeah, Devon scares the bejeezes out of Jason, but in about ten minutes, I’m figuring he is gonna be more scared of me.  What was he thinking letting Tom up here before I’m even awake?  Oh, he’s so gonna get it.

    “I wanted to come by and make sure you were all right.  You flew out of the car so fast last night I didn’t get a chance to ask.”

    “I’m fine.”

    “How’s your hand?”


    “You’re not very talkative in the mornings are you?”  He leans against the doorframe.  I step further back.  He looks at me like I’m something good to eat and I want to hide.


    “So, I was thinking, maybe we could give the whole date thing another go, somewhere without Cameron.”

    “Uh…”  Date?  He still wants to go out with me?  After everything that happened last night, I figured he’d wash his hands of me for sure.

    “Look, I know you’re still pretty hung up on Cameron.  That’s fine.  I know what I’m getting into.  But, I thought it might be fun just to hang for a while and see where it goes.  I really like you, Alex, and I’m willing to try if you are.”

    “I don’t know….”  I need Saidie.  What to do?

    “There’s a romantic comedy playing or we could watch that scary Christmas flick they released early for Halloween,” he suggests.  “It’d match your pajamas.”

    My pajamas?  Oh no!  My face flames even brighter.  I’m wearing my reindeer flannel pajamas.  How much more embarrassing can this get?

    “Sorry, I couldn’t resist,” he chuckles.  “You look absolutely adorable when you blush.”

    So not fair.

    “What d’ya say?  Can I pick you up at around six or so?  We can grab a bite to eat and head over to the movies.”

    Do it, Bess.

    Morgan?  Morgan is listening?  Ohhhh….

    Don’t be mad, he pleadsI know how you feel about Devon, but I don’t think it’s going to work out.  Devon won’t let it.  You know that.  Tom’s a good guy and he likes you.  Just try, okay?  Give him a chance. 

    Fine, but Morgan if you ever listen in on something like this again, I promise I will beat you to within an inch of your life!  Do you understand me?

    Sure, sure.

    Like I believe that.  Morgan is nosier than Emma.

    “Six sounds great,” I tell him cautiously. 

    He beams at me and winces.  His eye must hurt when he smiles too big, I realize.  “Does it hurt a lot?”

    “Nah.  Besides, it was worth it.  It gave me a reason to come over this morning.  I planned on using it to guilt you into going to the movies if you said no.”

    “What?” I laugh. 

    “I had my battle plan mapped out.  My pops told me to resort to blackmail or guilt if I had to.  I’m glad I didn’t.”


    “My grandpa,” he says.  “The old man likes you.”

    I frown.  Do I know his grandpa?

    “He and Mr. Earls play chess all day over at Nell’s diner.”

    Oh, I do know his grandpa!  Jason and I have gotten in the habit of stopping in there for a burger when Emma’s not home.  Those two old coots are constantly arguing that one or the other cheated.  I’m usually their referee when in there.  Who knew Mr. Moore was his grandpa?

    “Your grampa is a hilarious,” I grin.

    “Yup, and he told me I’d be a bigger fool than Cameron if I let you get away.  Said if I had to sit on you to hold you still, to do it.”

    “He did not!”

    “Uh-huh and I thought there for a second I might have to resort to it.”

    Morgan laughs.


    No way, Bess.  This is good.

    You are so going to die a thousand deaths, Morgan Chandler.

    You’d have to catch me first.

    “Well, I’m gonna go.” Tom pulls my attention back to him.  “I would stay for breakfast, but I think I’ve pushed you far enough for one day or am I wrong in thinking you’ll hide out up here until I’m gone?”

    “Uh…no…you’re not wrong.”

    He leans forward and kisses me on the forehead.  “See ya tonight.”

    I close the door and fall into bed. 

    I actually agreed to go out with Tom Wallace. Again.  Oye…I need to talk to Saidie.

    I roll over looking for my phone and see the note.  It’s lying on the floor.  I recognize the handwriting at once.  Devon.  I pick it up and just look at it, afraid to open it.  What could it say?  My heart can’t take much more.  But what if it says what I want to hear?

    I sit up in bed and open it.  Thick, heavy parchment paper slides out.  Unfolding it, I begin to read.


I am sorry I cannot talk to you in person, but I could not leave things as they were, though.  I want you to understand.


Kissing you was Not a mistake.  It was just a poor choice of words on my part.  I made you cry, and that was not my intention.  That kiss is something that I will treasure for eternity.  It was amazing and beautiful.  You are amazing and beautiful, the most beautiful creature I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.  You shine like the sun on a cold winters day and chase away some of the biting darkness that lives within me.  Your smile makes me smile.  You are everything to me.


But I will not let my feelings for you keep me from doing what I came here to do – to keep you safe.


There are things about me, about my past that you do not know and I hope you never will.  It is for this reason I cannot give into both of our desires and claim you for my own.  It is too dangerous.  I’m too dangerous.  In all my years I have never denied myself anything, but I will deny myself in this.  You are too important to me to give in and do as I wish.  Your safety comes first.  I love you too much to risk your life. 


I wanted you to understand my reasons even though I cannot fully explain them to you.  I do not want to hurt you, but I must keep you safe.  Please, Cara, please say you will still be my friend.  If I lost you, I do not know what I would do.  I know I am asking a lot, but please, bellisima, I need you.  I cannot bear the thought of never seeing you smile at me again or threaten to throttle me when I irritate you. 


I am so sorry, my Cara, my beloved.  Forgive me for doing this.


Yours always,

Devon C. Cameron



I let the note fall from my numb fingers.  He loves me?  I feel the wetness of my tears as they forge wet trails down my cheeks.  How can he ask me to give him up when he says he loves me?  Why would he?  My heart stutters and shatters all over again.  Pain grips me.  He loves me, but he wouldn’t...why? 

Stupid, stupid, boy!  He has no right to tell me this and then expect me to go on as if nothing happened.  I fell in love with him that first day when he dismissed me so easily.  He’d gotten under my skin and stayed there.  And now he’s telling me he loves me too, but that we can’t be together?  How is that remotely fair? 

He wants to be my friend?  My friend?  I want so much more from him, but he won’t give it to me.  He means it too.  He will never let himself do what he wants.  Can I be his friend after everything that has happened between us?  My fingers find their way to my lips.  I can still feel his bruising kiss this morning.  I honestly don’t know, but the thought of losing him nearly kills me.  I need him probably as much as he needs me.  How can I take that from him, from me?

God, it hurts so much.  A sob breaks free and I curl up in my bed, burying my face in my pillow so no one will hear.  I’m alone and the pain very nearly cripples me.  Memories of being alone in a dark room, of having my hands tied so that I can’t hurt myself or anyone else tears through me and I start to panic.  I can feel the weight of the restraints on my wrists.  The fear and pain from that part of my life almost mirrors the pain I’m feeling now.  Together, they are my undoing.

Warmth floods me.  The smell of spring leaves invade my senses.  Morgan surrounds me with thoughts and feelings of home, of pack.  He is here and I’m not alone.  The memories of solitary confinement recede and I can breathe again.  I can get through this.  I have to.  For all of us.

Please, God, let me get through this.






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Jehmka wrote 704 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 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!
(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

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 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

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.

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.

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


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.