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

 
rate the book

to rate this book please Register or Login

 

tags

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

on 7 watchlists

16 comments

 

Text Size

Text Colour

Chapters

33

report abuse

33

Chapter Thirty Three

 

    I sit on the school steps and absently listen to Saidie ramble.  We’d had a freak snow storm the night before and the snow finally stopped about mid-morning and most everyone outside is involved in some kind of snowball war.  Saidie and I dodged more than we could count and managed to flee to the steps with minor damage.  Jason, Tom and some of the other players on the football team are still engaged in the battle of the century.  Watching them makes me smile.  Jason still doesn’t like that I’m dating Tom, but he’s dealing with it.  And Tom.  I had been right to give him a chance.  He made the pain of losing Devon easier to bear.  I can laugh with him.  He watches me for signs of running and bolting, though.  There had been plenty, but he always gives chase.  The more time I spend with him, the more I grow to like him.

    If only he could distract me from what’s been going on with my friends.  I sigh.  Since our little powwow in the gazebo, things feel strained between everyone.  Our little group has not spent more than five minutes together as a whole in days.  Janna ate it up.  Rumors spread and gossip mongers crowded in to watch.  We all seemed to be avoiding each other which only fed the rumors.  We all talked, but never together.  Saidie and Devon avoided like the plague. 

    Connor appeared to be immune, though.  He really didn’t care.  In fact, he seemed excited about hanging out with monsters.  God help us all.

    “Alex,” Saidie nudges me.  “Did you finish this problem?” 

    We are trying to finish our algebra homework but neither of us seems to be making too much headway.  We enjoy being outside in the snow and laughing at all the antics going on among the makeshift snow forts.

    “No,” I frown, suddenly feeling anxious.  I automatically look for Morgan and catch my breath.  He’s arguing with another boy.  The boy holds my attention.  He’s tall with blonde hair like Morgan’s, but that’s where the similarities ended.  He looks older, more dangerous somehow. 

    “Who’s that with Morgan?” I ask Saidie.

    “Don’t know…what?” she frowns.

    The boy pushes past Morgan and starts toward Devon.

    We have trouble, Bessie Mae.

    I am up and running before the words are finished.  I see everything he’s seen in a flash.  The boy means to hurt Devon.

    “Alex?” Saidie calls, getting up and running after me.

    “You’re not supposed to be here,” I can hear the boy’s voice, low and full of anger.

    I come to a stop directly in front of Devon and Saidie settled herself beside of me

    “Hi,” I say brightly.  “Is there a problem?”

    His eyes, a deep blue, stare at me, startled.  His tone is cold, though, when he speaks.

    “This is none of your business.”

    “Yeah, it kinda is my business,” I tell him, smiling.  “Devon’s a friend of mine.”

    “Friend?” he laughs harshly.  “You have no idea who he is.”

    “I know exactly what he is, what you are.”  I can feel the energy pulsing off of him.  Definitely a were.  His scent smells like Morgan’s and Jason’s.  It’s an earthy smell, like the woods after a fresh rain.  My wolf tells me he smells of pack.  He’s a wolf.

    His eyes narrow.  “You can’t know…”

    “We know everything we need to know,” Saidie tells him, her own voice hard and unbending. 

    His lips thin in anger.  “This is ridiculous.  You two need to move out of my way.”

    “Nope, sorry,” I say.  “Can’t do that.”

    “Yeah, you will.”

    Devon snarls, his warning low but clear.

    “If you so much as touch a hair on his head, you will answer to me,” I tell him, anger creeping up on me.  I can see the intent to hurt in his eyes.  He isn’t going to touch Devon.  Devon is Mine.  My wolf snarls in my head.  The boys eyes go wide, sensing the wolf in me maybe.

    “And me,” Saidie agrees.

    “And me,” Connor chimes in.

    I glanced behind me to see that Conner has joined us.  Devon is surrounded once Morgan comes to stand beside of me.

    “Morgan.”  There is a definite tone of warning in the boy’s voice.

    “You will have to go through all of us,” Morgan’s voice comes out like the crack of a whip, full of steel and determination.  “He’s staying.  Accept it.”

    The boy growls in frustration.  A real doggy growl.  He nods grudgingly. 

    “Let’s go, Bess.”  Morgan moves to herd us away.  It isn’t until then we notice that everyone who’d been outside is staring at us.  People had moved closer to see what was going on. 

    “Wonderful,” I mutter.

    “Remember, even bad publicity is good publicity,” Saidie whispers.

    Leave it to Saidie to remind me of the little war I’d started with Janna.  Like I need reminding.  She and the hohags haven’t made a move yet and I’m nervous.  Just what are the hags up to?

    “Care to tell us what that was all about?” I ask once we were all seated back at our usual spot on the school steps.

    “That was Paul Richards,” Morgan sighs.  “He just moved here.  When he caught Devon’s smell, he flipped.  I tried to calm him down, but he wouldn’t listen.”

    “There are other shifters in school?” Connor’s eyes are growing brighter.

    “Of course,” Morgan grins at him, his eyes flashing amber for a second.

    Morgan.

    What?

    “Why haven’t any of them flipped out before now?” Connor asks.

    “Oh, they did at first.  The pack decided to watch them before taking any action.  You remember for a while there Devon and I were practically ready to kill each other?” he laughs.  “Anyway, once I figured out he wasn’t here to cause any harm I managed to convince the rest of the pack he isn’t a threat to us.  My pack trusts me not to put them in danger, so they agreed to leave him be.  Paul’s new here.  He doesn’t know me and he has no reason to trust me.  He’s only been running with us for a week or so.”

    “Shouldn’t he have noticed them before now?”

    “Today is his first day of school.  He wouldn’t have seen Devon before.”

    “It’s bad enough that we have to worry about Alex, now we have to make sure you don’t get torn apart,” Saidie shoots Devon a disgruntled look.

    Devon stares at her for a long minute, and then nods in acceptance and gives her a half smile.

    I let out a breath I’m not aware I’ve been holding.  The last couple days have been hard with the rift that formed between all of us.  It appears that we are still loyal to each other, though.  Loyalty is something that cannot be so easily broken once given and can forgive much.  It ties us together more tightly than even friendship.  The pressure crushing my chest eases.  It’s going to be alright.     

    We all hear the bell and Connor groans

    “I forgot to finish my homework,” he sighs heavily.

    Saidie and I look at each other sheepishly.  We haven’t finished ours either.  No brownie points for either of us.

    “Come on, Connor,” Morgan grins devilishly.  “We’d best get along.  We wouldn’t want to be late now would we?”

    “Of course not,” Connor grins wickedly.  “Devon?”

    He smiles that slow mischievous smile of his that has me melting.  Again.  Sigh.  “I would not think of missing it.”

    Saidie and I exchange worried looks.  Just what are those three up to?

    “Come on, Alex, let’s go.  I for one am not going to the office.”

    I completely agree with her.

    “What are they up to?” Saidie whispers a little while later.  Class had started twenty minutes ago and there is still no sign of the boys.

    “Miss Reed, Miss Walker, where are those boys?” Mr. Rawlings demands, noticing the time too.  “I saw them with you at lunch.”

    “We don’t know, Mr. Rawlings,” Saidie answers truthfully.

    There is a knock on the door just then and Mr. Crouse comes in, followed by all three boys.

    “Mr. Rawlings, I’m sorry the boys are late.  They were helping Mrs. King move some things in her classroom and then came by the office.  I gave them a note, but they seemed a little concerned about returning to class.  I wondered why?”

    “I do have very strict rules about tardiness, Mr. Crouse.”

    “Did you tell them that you wouldn’t accept any excuse?”

    “Yes, I did.  They have more than enough time to get to class before the bell rings.”

    “So, what you’re telling me is that you won’t accept an excuse from the office then?” Mr. Crouse asks sharply.

    Morgan winks at us.

    We roll our eyes at him.

    Dork.

    Don’t you know it!

    “No, I said no such thing…” Mr. Rawlings flounders.

    “Please come see me after class, Mr. Rawlings.” 

    “Take your seats,” Mr. Rawlings says angrily after the vice principal leaves.  “You’ll have to get your notes later.  I’m putting a pop quiz up on the board!”

    “Was it worth it?” Saidie whispers.

    All three nod with huge toothy grins.

    Boys.

 

Chapters

33

report abuse

To leave comments on this or any book please Register or Login

subscribe to comments for this book
Jehmka wrote 703 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 720 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 742 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 771 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 783 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 785 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 785 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 787 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 787 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 789 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 796 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 811 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 817 days ago

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

Lenny H wrote 817 days ago

On my WL

Wavy3 wrote 818 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 818 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.

1