I’m super stoked to have Sara Hubbard here today. She shared an excerpt of New Pride for me last Friday and now I get to share and excerpt of her YA paranormal romance, Blood, She Read–which happens to be an OmniLit BEST SELLER! YAY!!!
Be sure to read to the bottom–we’re hosting a GIVEAWAY!!!! 😉
Take it away, Sara!
I am so happy to be guesting today on Laura’s blog. Laura and I are both contracted to Etopia Press and we share a book birthday! Like Laura, my book is a young adult paranormal novel. It also has elements of romance, suspense, and mystery. Today, I am going to provide you an exclusive excerpt from Blood, She Read. In this scene our main character, a psychic teen witch, is being confronted by some popular boys about helping the police with a murder investigation. I hope you enjoy!
Exclusive Excerpt from Blood, She Read
(Edited for language)
When I left detention, the hallways were empty and eerily quiet. I half expected tumbleweeds to roll down the black and white checked linoleum. The overhead lights were off, leaving the hall in shadows that were broken only by patches of light streaming in though the open classroom doors. Barely enough light allowed me to make out the numbers on my combination lock, but I managed to get it open on the first try. First time for everything. I opened the door and objects shot out from the cramped space inside as if they were made of tightly coiled springs. Books, pencils, and pens fell onto the floor with a clatter.
“Fantastic.” I crouched down to collect them, gathering them into my chest. I needed to get out of here quick. If anyone came asking questions and demanding answers, I wouldn’t have anything to say for myself. One by one, my locker contents slowly fell again. Just my luck. One of my tampons rolled across the floor until it finally collided with a pair of black, steel-toed boots.
Shoot me now.
My eyes lifted slightly to meet with solid, muscular legs covered in faded blue jeans. Whoever wore them bent at the knees and crouched down beside me. I kept my gaze cast downward, embarrassed. He picked up the tampon, and lightly clutching it between his index and middle finger, he held it out to me, his hand palm-side up.
My cheeks boiled and the heat spread to my ear lobes and neck. I could only imagine the rash that accompanied it. Combined with my freckles, I probably looked like a freak show. I lifted my gaze to meet the square, thick jaw of Tommy Harris.
F###. My. Life.
I bit my lower lip to keep from screaming. Why, out of all the people in school, did he have to find me with a rogue tampon? I wanted to be sick. His eyes almost seemed to glow in the shadowed hall, and his glare sliced through my skin.
I let out the breath I’d been holding. We weren’t alone.
Double f### my life.
Finnigan stood to Tommy’s left and Markus to his right. I glanced at the word Tampax bolded in white across the shocking pink wrapper. I snatched the tampon and tucked it into the big, single front pocket of my green hoodie. Most of the other items I held fell to the floor with a trickle of clicks and clanks. As I rose to stand tall, Tommy mirrored my movements. I had to crane my neck to look up into his steely eyes. In front of me, he seemed giant-like.
I sucked in air and let it out slowly. “Thanks.”
He half-smiled at me, but not in a way that made me feel comfortable. He took a step forward, forcing me to take one back. The cool surface of the steel locker behind me pierced through my clothing and hair. It travelled through me, sending shivers up and down my spine. I straightened my shoulders, stretched my neck, anything I could do to gain an extra inch. He meant to intimidate me, and I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of knowing he succeeded.
Over and over, I told myself that he didn’t scare me, but I knew I was full of shit. He could have snapped me in two without breaking a sweat. And he could have done it long before I could rhyme off a spell. Not that I’d cast now after what I’d just done to Foley. He couldn’t open his mouth!
No. Magic wasn’t the answer.
Tommy’s left arm jutted out and with a slam, it landed to the left of my head. I flinched and then silently cursed myself. Then he did the same movement with his right hand. My gaze flashed to Finnigan, to the beautiful boy I’d once thought was awesome. He refused to look at me. Ashamed? Embarrassed? Whatever. He’d held the door for me the other day and his lips had curled into this cute half-smile. I’d almost smiled back, thinking how great it was for him to treat me like I might matter. Now he let his brother threaten me, while he and his cousin stood watching. Three against one. Cowards. I couldn’t believe I’d ever thought he might be something special.
I wanted them all to go away, and as my anger bucked and blossomed, I thought about the awful things I wanted to do to each of them, but especially
to Tommy. In fact, images flashed through my mind with such clarity, I might have been watching them on a movie screen: Tommy being thrown back and forth across the hall, denting the lockers, and then lurching up to the ceiling until his head disappeared, before his body and legs dangled frantically like a headless chicken. I shook the images off before I lost control.
“Don’t you do it, Petra,” I muttered to myself. “Don’t you dare. Magic causes more problems than it solves, and they’ll only see how different you are.”
I didn’t need magic to protect myself. I had a knee and he had nuts for a target. And so did his cronies. Why was I looking at his penis? I snapped my gaze back up to his harsh face.
“You and I need to talk.” His voice was calm, but his eyes were ice.
An image wandered into my mind, of Tommy standing in the middle of a parking lot with a wrecking ball about to be released on his nuts. I cursed myself again and tried to shove it down deep. What was I thinking? Then, I watched the wrecking ball whip through the air, connect with his groin, and lift him, while his mouth formed a perfect, agonized O shape.
Stop it, stop it, stop it.
“Heard you had a visitor Saturday afternoon,” he said.
“So?” I managed, my voice cracking.
“So, I had one too. Saturday night. Cops came ‘round after midnight, asking me and my brother all kinds of questions about Josie Brennan. Kind of a coincidence, don’t ya think, since I heard they were at your house before they came to mine.” Tommy’s smile faded, and I swear his eyes flashed crimson, but I assumed the semidarkness played tricks on me. “For months we had no cops at our door, then you talk to them and they’re at my house.”
Oh my God. My dad. Did he know, too? No way. He would’ve shown up at my house by now to stare down at me with his cold, black eyes, before punishing me. Mom had been wrong. Dad didn’t care enough to keep an eye on us. This gave me comfort. But more than that, thinking about my dad gave me strength. Compared to my dad, Tommy was a stuffed bunny rabbit. Tommy didn’t scare me or intimidate me. Not anymore.
Keeping secrets from a psychic can be murder.
Petra Maras lives a charmed life, but only in the magical sense. Her absentee father is a criminal, her mother is emotionally dead, and everyone at her new school knows she comes from a family of witches. All she wants is to be normal, but that’s impossible, given her family. And given that she’s psychic. When the police request help with a murder investigation, Petra reluctantly agrees. Which isn’t such a good idea since the prime suspect wants to date her, and she really wants to say yes. Her gut says he’s innocent, but since she can’t get a read on him, she can’t know for sure. And when she discovers he’s been keeping secrets, she wonders if maybe she’s been following her heart instead of her head…
You can purchase Blood, She Read here:
Omnilit/ All Romance eBooks https://www.omnilit.com/product-bloodsheread-987664-251.html
Sara Hubbard is the author of young adult books. Her debut novel BLOOD, SHE READ releases fall 2012 and is a NEORWA Cleveland Rocks winner and a RCRW Duel on the Delta finalist.
Sara was born in Australia to British parents, but has lived in Nova Scotia for the majority of her life. In addition to being an author, Sara is a wife, a mother, and a registered nurse with the military.
If you want to find about more about Sara, here are her links:
Thanks so much for reading this! And thanks again, Laura, for having me J
Sara, it’s been a blast sharing our book birthdays! Thanks!