A SHORT STORY – ONYX & CHLOE – FROM ME TO YOU!

ONYX & CHLOE

THE MAKING OF THE ALLIANCE
A SHORT STORY

**Please note: This is uncorrected and unedited. Please forgive any errors!**


‘If an enemy has alliances, the problem is grave

and the enemy’s position strong…’

Sun Tzu

It could be a trap. Should be, Onyx thought.

The thought only made his smooth stride quicken, he even added a skip or two. He could think of nothing better than another war with Joel. And there was no denying he was intrigued. His desire to be The One who brought the eternal war to the next level was rooted deep.

Something whispered in his mind, taunted him with humanity; go back, preserve, but then the angel kicked in, forge on, I am mighty, and then the exile, I must not be denied. The exile always won.

The last time Onyx and Joel crossed paths they came close to tearing one another’s hearts out. His lips curled at the memory, eager now. Slaughter of the light always kindled a little extra something in him.

Angels, ruled by the Seraphim, broke into many ranks but no other division compared to the divide that existed between light and dark. In the angel realm the presence of one meant the complete and utter absence of the other. But here as exiles, there were no rules other than – to rule.

Onyx strode towards the church, unfazed by Joel’s venue selection. They were longtime foes, both by their occupational distinction as much as their exiled status. It was not in their nature to ‘collaborate’ as Joel, exile of light, had put it when he proposed a ‘peaceful negotiation’ during their recent shared dream-walk.

‘Times have changed,’ Joel had said.

Onyx agreed with that much. Destroying humans, even in numbers, seemed to achieve less and less. Humans were a plague angels had encouraged for far too long. You could kill as many as you wanted, but they bred like rabbits. And then there were their protectors …

If there is only one thing light and dark exiles agree on – it is the need to eliminate the Grigori: the humans who carried the essence – and therefore the powers – of angels.

Onyx looked over his shoulder. He could feel his darklings moving in the shadows, just as he’d instructed. He ran a hand vainly through his hair, styling it just so. Appearances counted.

Gressil stepped out from his cloak of darkness nearby, nodding once to Onyx. ‘Are we to attack?’ Gressil asked, anticipation showing in his bright eyes.

Onyx shared in Gressil’s desire to indulge in battle. His forces were mightier and certainly more hostile. Sneering hungrily at the thought he felt a surge of power behind him as his ranks caught the scent of violent possibilities.

But war is more enjoyable when it is cruel. And true cruelty meant first biding his time. He glanced to the church roof. ‘Scale it and cover every possible entry or exit point. I’ll tell you when.’

Gressil hesitated. He was a purest, all about the kill. Onyx looked him in the eye until he nodded and faded back into the shadows.

Even before he reached the large doors to the church, he could smell the reek. Human flesh. Onyx snorted. One thing he didn’t appreciate was a lack of cleanliness. Kill them, certainly, but do not live in the filth they leave behind.

Rodents indeed, he thought. Human value was always exposed in the vile odor of their death. When all the sheen of ‘freewill’ is taken away – all that’s left is the stink – the real, despicable, unworthy rot. Even as exiles in human form, such degradation would never be bestowed upon one of them.

He pushed the door open, letting it creak to the maximum. He smiled, using his foot to wedge it halfway, pausing to straighten his Gucci jacket – navy blue today, to off-set his raspberry tie. A daring selection he’d deliberated over. He took his time, feeling no fear but needing a moment to contain his excitement at the prospect of battle. Killing Joel would bring much pleasure.

He chuckled condescendingly, his polished black shoes clacking against the stark white marble as he began down the aisle. ‘Do you not get tired of sitting in houses where another is worshipped, Joel? Or is it that you fantasise about a future where the stained glass reflects your own image?’

Joel was not visible and did not reply, but Onyx could feel the surge of his power and smiled. Joel has always had an ego-driven temper.

Onyx looked ahead. It was apparent that Joel had made himself at home. He had even decorated. With humans. Onyx’s step picked up a bounce. Exiles of light justified their behavior for their ‘cause’ – the belief that to save the many you must kill the few; that they would succeed where others failed. Misguided, of course, but Joel was a fanatic, and more treacherous because of it.

They were shoulder to shoulder in the front pew; Joel’s kneeling worshippers. Part of the stink did not only come from death – the living here rotted too.

Two nuns, two priests, and a girl in altar-clothes – the clergy uniforms all of rival religions, an indicator of Joel’s ultimate belief – that he would succeed and mass devotion by all. No opinions. No deviations. He would be the sole dictator of belief and punishment alike.

He did not see the advantages in varying opinion. Unlike Onyx’s side.

Onyx was not a believer. He simply wanted bloody vengeance on this inferior race, and ultimate power, of course. And the only way that was going to happen … he had to get rid of the half-breeds. If Joel had a way to destroy the Grigori, he wanted in. He’d kill Joel later.

The captives were restrained with thin, unforgiving, wire strapped behind their knees, cutting into the flesh and holding them down, punishing any minute movement. Their hands were tied at the wrists, dried blood coating their forearms and their hands clasped together in mock prayer.

The human heads turned to Onyx. For a moment, there was a brief flicker of hope – particularly in the eyes of the young girl, pathetically struggling to hold up her own weight. But then they saw the nothingness reflected in his dark eyes and their hope quickly fled.

Watching as the blood flowed from where the wire restraints around the prisoners had previously been tested, Onyx tilted his head. If Joel and his exiles of light looked frightening – Onyx looked like the devil himself. It wasn’t just the black hair, his unnaturally charcoal eyes or severe features which made him disturbingly perfect – it was the way something foul moved just beneath the surface – a shimmering that, when he chose, humans could see and definitely feel. It was a darkness that went beyond anything angel, anything human – it was all exile. Deserter. Power. And Onyx relished it.

The girl kept her eyes on him, the only one foolish enough not to look away. She was petrified, but there was something else, something Onyx rarely saw in those without considerable power – or at least the illusion of it.

Fortitude.

‘Please,’ she whispered, her fragile voice quivering. She waited for Onyx to look at her and when he did, she showed tremendous strength by holding his eyes. Most screamed when he turned that particular look on them.

‘Forgiveness. It is never too late.’

Onyx paused, giving his full attention to the girl. He leant down and pulled back the short churchgoer veil that hid her long luxurious golden hair.

‘Oh,’ Onyx beamed and tut-tuted with his finger. ‘Hair like that is not for the one you serve. Is vanity not a sin? Are you sure it is not too late for you? Tell me, holy girl, what would be your prayer right now?’

She looked abashed, exposed without her headpiece, but she did not turn away. ‘I would pray for the safety of my friends.’

Onyx raised his eyebrows and smirked. ‘At your own detriment?’ he asked. ‘Would you stay and die if you knew they would live?’

‘Yes,’ she said proudly. The others, the men and women of God, remained unsurprisingly silent.

‘And what of them? Would you be so cruel to them?’

She looked confused.

‘You would leave them to live in the shadow of your sacrifice? Death will come for you but linger in them. Are you sure you are not requesting what is simply the easiest option? Are you sure what you suggest is …’ he placed a hand over his all-but-absent-heart, always one for a show. ‘Forgivable?’

The girl paled to a chalky shade.

‘You could help us?’ she half suggested, half begged.

‘I could, but there are only two ways of helping you and I have almost as little desire to kill you as I do to free you. Perhaps if you didn’t smell so entirely vile. Have you actually soiled yourselves?’ He grimaced, truly disgusted. It was beneath him to kill them now.

‘We have been tied like this for days,’ she whimpered.

‘And for days ahead I imagine.’

‘My name is Chloe,’ she pleaded quickly.

He had heard this tactic before. But humanizing themselves only made him despise them more. Identity did not help.

‘Would you believe me, Chloe…’ he used her name on purpose, ‘if I told you the Devil sent the man who holds you like this?’

‘Yes,’ she nodded.

‘Of course you would. But would you believe me if I told you there is no such thing as the devil? The man who holds you is an angel.’

‘Then he has fallen,’ she said, confidently, irritating him somewhat.

‘No, Chloe.’ He leaned close. ‘He has landed.’ Onyx straightened and reluctantly smelled the air. ‘I do hope your faith allows for cremation,’ he added but his attention was now elsewhere, for he could feel Joel moving in. He turned to the altar. ‘No doubt you’ve taken a preacher position, Joel. Show yourself before the stench drives me away.’

Joel appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, sitting in the priests throne. Moving out from behind him came a number of his exiles. Onyx smiled, enjoying that Joel felt the need for reinforcements, seeing it more as a sign of weakness than of strength.

‘I have a proposal,’ Joel said, looking pompous, reclining in a practiced pose.

Onyx ground his teeth, working hard to restrain himself from launching at the exile of light. ‘The sides do not ally. There is no way to prevent the inevitable battle, Joel.’

‘No, there is not. But before I send you to the pits, I need your services. It will benefit your side, too.’

‘Presumptuous, no?’ Onyx said. He smiled at Joel, while internally sending out the green light to his dark brethren.

It happened fast.

And just as Onyx had hoped.

Exiles of dark crashed through the several stained glass windows, shattering Joel’s temple, their faces morphing in and out of different illusions. There were those that took on demonic images, those that wielded fire and those so frigidly cold that to the beholder just being in their vicinity carried a promise of horrid death. The cold is always underestimated.

Joel was ready, of course, exiles of light had been positioned in easily defensible locations throughout the church, springing into view and action just as eagerly. The light exiles’ desire to destroy the dark was infinite. And here on earth – here was their arena.

The fighting began. There was no time to hesitate and Onyx knew that smashing all of Joel’s glass would have ignited his very short fuse.

As if to punctuate the thought, Joel roared, morphing into his preferred fighting image – a six-winged creature, each wing ablaze with blue fire with an inner blinding light coming out from within. He fancied himself a celestial.

Onyx rolled his eyes. He was too prideful for such lowly things.

Joel strode towards Onyx, anger rippling off him uncontrollably. Around them their forces battled. Exile on exile took time. Onyx could see Gressil fighting. He had assumed the vision of a gargoyle demon – indulging in the viciousness stereotyped by Hollywood. He would take down as many as he could, and make sure to finish them for good.

‘I will pray for you,’ the girl said from the front pew.

Onyx was first stunned by her gall, but recovered quickly, throwing his head back in light laughter.

‘Do you think because I do not take on a mask that I am the lesser threat?’

‘No.’ She shook her head nervously. ‘But I can see you have a soul that will be saved. A soul that I can pray for.’ She wept, again taking Onyx by rare surprise. They all cry. Humans can be wet things, but in all his time, never had one cried … for him.

His stare hardened. But the way she looked at him affected him somehow and his talent for insight raised an internal alarm – for just an instant. Onyx was sure he was standing on the cusp of overwhelming change.

‘Do you pray that I will save you?’ he taunted readying for Joel, who was nearing, about to make the first move.

‘I pray that I might save you.’

Onyx took the first hit, a sword appearing in Joel’s already raised arm. Onyx was fast, but the girl had distracted him and he received a gaping slice to his side. It healed instantly, the pain refocusing his anger to where it needed to be.

Onyx launched into the air, unleashing the savagery that was a part of who he was and along with it, the Pressure – literally. Pressure was one of his strengths; he could bring it to humans and exiles alike. Compress their surroundings; bring the world in around them. Against humans, it can crush their insides, against exiles it is not as powerful but still, very, very uncomfortable.

Joel stumbled back under the force, giving Onyx the chance to produce his own sword and strike at Joel. And now they danced – chaos and destruction surrounding them as the pillars and walls of the church, absorbing the power of many blows, began to crumble. At one point Onyx glanced to the front pew, it was one of the only areas still left intact. The priests and one of the nuns had suffered from the initial arrival of his exiles – large shards of glass penetrating their now lifeless vessels. The girl and the remaining nun still breathed, for now.

He jolted back into his fight unable to comprehend why his thoughts had drifted to the human again. This was unacceptable.

With a surge of renewed determination he moved in on Joel. His forces were stronger, mightier. It was his place to make this happen. He was the one who would conquer. He would prevail. He was the godliest of them all.

Onyx pushed forwards, his sword slashing liberally as he took control of the fight, striking Joel across the chest a number of times. Joel stumbled back, desperate to put distance between them while he redirected his strengths internally, for much needed healing.

Suddenly Joel pounced into the air, levitating outside of Onyx’s power range.

‘We can fight all you want, but would you rather not bring the spectacle, the grandness of such duels to the eyes of the world? I know how you love an audience, Onyx! What if I told you – that the next time we battle it could be without fear of any interference from the Grigori? What if I told you, together, we could bring about the new age?’

The battle cries continued. Onyx could see that his forces had the upper hand. Gressil began ripping organs from an exile of light as he watched. Onyx sneered at the brutality approvingly – Gressil was purposely leaving the heart until last, prolonging the torture.

Dark will win this fight.

‘Onyx?’ the girl’s voice whimpered from the pew. He cast his eyes down to the pest.

‘You presume to speak my name?’ he delivered a look of pure darkness on her and smiled as she began to tremble uncontrollably. ‘Now, be silent or I will kill you myself in a way you will not like at all.’ He looked back up at Joel and shook his head. ‘How have you not slayed her yet?’

Joel smiled, but he watched the girl with a certain interest. ‘I was hoping they would learn to serve before I had to.’

‘Well, she is just the same as every other rodent. She serves only herself.’

The girl shook her head. ‘No, that’s not true. I would serve you if you would ask it of me.’ She glanced hesitantly at Joel, her fear obvious. ‘All I would ask in return is that you listen to him and choose your path.’

Onyx’s eyes went wide. Her words of choice were more angelic than human. He laughed his high-pitched cackle and adjusted his raspberry tie. ‘It seems you have broken her Joel – I do hope she is not your plan,’ he said, now enjoying himself again. Despite Joel’s own look of confusion, Onyx assumed Joel had planted the girl to appeal to him on some level. A terrible miscalculation.

Joel shrugged, gesturing to the girl. ‘This is the first time I have heard that one speak.’

Onyx glanced at the girl and back to Joel, buying himself more time as the battle continued around them. Soon Joel would have few to defend him. Onyx pulled at one of the girl’s long golden locks. ‘Chloe?’ he drew out her name. ‘Why ever would you want me to listen to him? Do you know what it would mean for your kind if light and dark were to come together to conspire against humanity?’ he taunted, expecting her to start crying again.

She nodded. ‘It’s your destiny,’ she said, as if each word was surprising her too.

‘Perhaps she is not so wrong, Onyx,’ Joel said, still hovering at a safe distance. ‘I have the way and, as you say – we would be unstoppable should we bring our forces together and, our strengths.’

Onyx made a full turn, his arms going wide, taking in the scene. ‘I have the upper hand Joel! My forces are greater than yours! What could you possibly have that can make all the difference?’

Joel smiled now. The next time he spoke he used his telepathic skill, sending his words right into Onyx’s mind. ‘I will not reveal all, only ask if you have heard of the First Scriptures?

Of course he’d heard of them. No angel would not know of them – but they were gone. Hidden. Only one had survived and the humans already possessed it. ‘Do not sell me fairytales,’ Onyx replied, mind to mind.

Joel came down, landing on the ground. He confidently turned his back on Onyx, repositioning himself on his now well-splintered throne. ‘The Scripture survives. I know where it is. And, what it can do.

‘Where?’ Onyx said aloud, and too quickly. A crucial mistake. If there was any doubt, Joel now knew just how much Onyx desired this Scripture.

Eyebrows raised, Joel poised his fingertips together under his chin and spoke aloud himself. ‘Call off your darklings, Onyx. I propose a partnership commencing immediately and finishing once we have the Scripture and have put it to use. Then we shall fight over who will sit at the top of the world.’ His smile widened.

Onyx glanced at the girl.

‘Please,’ she whispered. ‘It must be you.’

And indeed she was right.

Onyx straightened. If anyone was going to get control of that Scripture – it would be him. And he had no doubt who would take that top spot in the end.

‘Who else knows?’ Onyx checked, casually.

‘Not one but I,’ Joel replied knowingly.

Onyx nodded. Smart Joel. He knew Onyx would just kill him and go to the next in charge if he could. Given that the next was Malachi – it would be an easy feat.

Onyx sighed but commanded his forces. ‘Stop!’

The fighting ceased immediately.

Joel didn’t need to ask his forces to stop – most of them were on the ground, though they would heal.

‘You will not keep your secret from me for long. If you propose a partnership, you must divulge the knowledge you have.’

‘In six weeks we leave. By then, you will know everything that I do. But Onyx, do not forget I am the only one who knows.’

‘As surely as you will not forget that you would have met your end this night should I not have chosen otherwise,’ Onyx mocked, trying to ignore the girl who now seemed not so much forced to the ground as truly kneeling, to him. She was becoming more than unnerving. He decided he should kill her, tightened his grip on his sword, but instead he quickly turned to his forces, hiding his first-ever hesitation. ‘An alliance then. How fabulous!’ he called out, throwing in a little fanfare.

When he turned back to Joel, who was positively smug, he used his sword to slice the wire holding the girl’s knees to the ground and pulled her up roughly by her bound wrists. ‘I’ll take her as a wedding gift.’

Joel moved slightly. Onyx tilted his head, owning the moment. Joel hated to lose his possessions and nothing was more valuable to him than worshippers, forced or not.

‘And what shall you leave me in return?’

Onyx started walking down the aisle, dragging the girl behind him, not sparing a second thought for the other nun he had left still tied to the pew. His dark exiles leapt back out the windows. He looked over his shoulder to Joel who was now standing. ‘Why, partner, I left you with your life! Surely that will suffice.’

Outside, Onyx dragged Chloe into the darkness of a nearby park. She was bleeding badly, more so since he took no care to be gentle with her. She smelled putrid. He should kill her. At least throw her to his exiles as a plaything. Anything. But … he couldn’t help the growing intrigue.

‘Are you a prophetess?’

She dropped to the ground when he let her go, too weak to stand alone.

‘No.’

‘What are you then?’

‘I’m just a girl. I go to school. I help at the kid’s home and at church on Sundays.’

Onyx considered her reply. She was average in every way. Yet, there was something about her.

‘Why did you say it was my destiny to go after the Scripture?’

‘I don’t know how I know, I just do. Sometimes I get feelings that are so strong that I know they are right. It must be you.’ She looked back towards the church, no doubt thinking of the dead humans. Guilt would haunt her now.

Sirens sounded from not far away. Whatever glamour Joel’s exiles had put up to shield their battle had now dropped.

He should leave.

Onyx sensed another exile nearing. He looked to the bushes to see Gressil emerge, no doubt wanting to know exactly why an alliance with the light exiles had been formed. He watched intently as Onyx stood over the girl – his confusion appropriate. It was not like any of them to delay such an obvious kill.

Onyx had little choice. To let her go would be a display of weakness and against everything he stood for – and yet … Who was this girl?

Suddenly, a wave of something otherworldly moved over them, covering them in a sticky blanket of undiluted power.

Onyx’s head shot up.

‘Could the Grigori have formed an army? Did Joel set us up?’ Gressil called out, looking around for an approaching fight.

Onyx shook his head, overwhelmed by the potent presence. Joel hadn’t set them up and … this wasn’t just Grigori power on mass.

‘That’s no army,’ Onyx said. ‘That is something altogether new. Find the source. Find it now!’ he yelled, knowing the order would travel to all of his darklings.

He looked back down at the girl. Chloe. He must go. Must find this new enemy who was leaving a trail of such power in its wake. It would take him less than a second to kill her, but still he found himself resisting. ‘As sole survivor guilt will be your burden now. And I’ll hold you to your word with your life and that of those around you. You serve me, and should I call on you…?’

He waited.

‘I will answer,’ Chloe said with a sigh.

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ONE PAST MIDNIGHT – USA / BETWEEN THE LIVES – UK

I’m extremely excited about the coinciding release of ONE PAST MIDNIGHT also known as BETWEEN THE LIVES in the US and UK on August 7!

They have two different titles and two very different covers – and yet I absolutely adore both of them and feel they both capture elements of the story within! I’d love to know what you guys think, so leave a comment!!

And, I was thrilled to see these positive early reviews come from Voya’s upcoming August edition. Here is what they had to say:

Sabine has lived her eighteen years twice. On alternate days, she lives a picture-perfect life in Wellesley, a posh suburb of Boston, and a less perfect life in Roxbury, a more hardscrabble area. Every midnight she shifts between lives and picks up where she left off twenty-four hours previously. Desperate to have one life, she forms a plan to end one and hopefully survive to live the other. Both lives have advantages: Roxbury has her beloved little sister, while Wellesley has the obvious advantages of wealth and a future with the handsome Dex. As her plan moves closer to fruition, things are complicated by the appearance of Ethan in her Roxbury life—mesmerizing, captivating, mysterious, complicated Ethan.

Shirvington has conjured up a wonderful dilemma for Sabine, one with which many teens can identify—who am I really? Sabine has created two different personalities in her separate lives and wonders who the real Sabine is. What teen does not have the same question? Readers will at first think it is a no-brainer as to which life Sabine should choose to live, but the author has masterfully created a set of circumstances to keep them wondering what is next, what she will do, and more importantly—what should she do. This book is a page-turner from the start. Once word gets out about this riveting story, the book will seldom be on the library shelf.—Debbie Wenk.

Readers will be enthralled from the first page and will not want to put this book down. Sabine’s struggle to live two lives is intriguing and will leave readers on the edges of their seats waiting to see what she will do next. Sabine’s life in Roxbury is relatable for the majority of the teenager population, whereas her life in Wellesley is one that readers will regard as too perfect. The way the two lives are written is not confusing at all, and readers will thoroughly enjoy the plot. Ethan is the boyfriend that readers will approve of, and Dex is one that readers will see through. The ending is tragic and touching, and will teach readers to not take anything for granted. Anyone who loves romance, soul mates, and the supernatural will love this book. 5Q, 5P.—Sarah Phillips, Teen Reviewer.

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2014 SPRING SCAVENGER HUNT!!

Congratulations to the following winners of my personal giveaways.

1. FACEBOOK – Megan Rigdon

2. TWITTER – Rachel — @cutsofpaper

3. MY BLOG COMMENTS – Olivia

You have all been reply messaged but in case you miss it – please massage me directly at : http://www.jessicashirvington.com/contact/ with your address and book selection!

Welcome to the Spring 2014, YA Scavenger Hunt (#YASH)! This amazing event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! On this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content, you also get a secret number. Add up the numbers, and enter it for a chance to win a major prize–one lucky winner will receive at least one signed book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest only runs for 72 hours beginning at noon PST on THURSDAY 3rd APRIL and ending at noon PST on SUNDAY 6th APRIL!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are TWO contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or both! I am a part of the RED TEAM –but there is also a BLUE team for a chance to win a whole different set of signed books!

If you get stuck at any point and lose your way – don’t panic! Simply go to this page: YA Scavenger Hunt: Stuck? and you’ll see links to all the authors participating and can work from there.

SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE

Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number (in red!). Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the blue team, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).

Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by April 6, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

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SCAVENGER HUNT POST

JERI SMITH-READY

For the Spring 2014 Scavenger Hunt I am so excited to be hosting the very fabulous JERI SMITH-READY! Read on and find out some more about Jeri and her latest novel – THIS SIDE OF SALVATION.

Jeri Smith-Ready has been writing fiction since the night she had her first double espresso. A steady stream of caffeine has resulted in twelve published novels for teens and adults, including her latest, YA contemporary novel This Side of Salvation, which Booklist called a “smart, unpredictable, and well-rounded tale” in its starred review.
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To find out more about Jeri and her books, you can visit her website:

http://www.jerismithready.com/

And if you would like to buy the book, click here:

http://amzn.to/OvRiYG

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A LITTLE BIT ABOUT  - THIS SIDE OF SALVATION

Everyone mourns differently. When his older brother was killed, David got angry. As in, fist-meets-someone-else’s-face furious. But his parents? They got religious. David’s still figuring out his relationship with a higher power, but there’s one thing he does know for sure: The closer he gets to new-girl Bailey, the better, brighter, happier, more he feels.

Then his parents start cutting all their worldly ties in to prepare for the Rush, the divine moment when the faithful will be whisked off to Heaven…and they want David to do the same. David’s torn. There’s a big difference between living in the moment and giving up his best friend, varsity baseball, and Bailey—especially Bailey—in hope of salvation.

But when he comes home late from prom, and late for the Rush, to find that his parents have vanished, David is in more trouble than he ever could have imagined….

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Sounds absolutely amazing, right?!


EXCLUSIVE CONTENT PROVIDED BY JERI

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My just-released YA contemporary novel, THIS SIDE OF SALVATION, takes place this time of year. So I decided to interview my main character, sixteen-year-old David Cooper,  as if it’s April 3 for him, too.

As luck would have it, he’s having a really bad week. Let’s visit him in his room.

JERI: Hey, David, how’s it going?

DAVID: (lying on his back, staring at the ceiling) Everything sucks. Thanks for asking.

JERI: Want to talk about it?

DAVID: (stews and sulks for a minute, turning a baseball over and over in his hands) It’s my parents. They believe in this thing called the Rush—which is just another word for the Rapture, when Jesus comes back to take his favorite people up to heaven. Except the Rush is supposed to happen on May 11 at three a.m.

JERI: (checks David’s desk calendar) Isn’t that prom night?

DAVID: It WAS prom night. Well, it still is for everyone else. But my parents asked me to give up my entire life—my girlfriend, my friends, baseball, even school—forty days before the Rush, so we can “prepare.” All because this preacher, Sophia Visser, told them to. You know what she calls this time? The Abandoning.

JERI: So you’ve had to abandon everything important to you.

DAVID: Almost everything. (sits up) See, my older brother, John, died in Afghanistan, and every since then, my dad’s been seriously messed up. He spoken in nothing but Bible verses for the last year.

JERI: I’m so sorry.

DAVID: (stands, paces) So I made a bargain with my parents: I’d go along with their little Abandoning project, but only if on May 12, after the Rush HASN’T happened, my dad will get professional help.

JERI: How do you know they’ll hold up their end of the bargain?

DAVID: I don’t know. But this is my only hope. It’d better work, because I don’t know if the damage I’ve done to my life can be fixed. I don’t know if my girlfriend, Bailey, will wait for me. I don’t know if college scouts will still want to give me a baseball scholarship. I don’t even know if I can finish calculus.

JERI: Hmmm. What if I let you have a tiny peek into your own future? Maybe 150 words from May 11?

DAVID: Whoa, really? You can do that?

JERI: I’m an author. I can do anything.

DAVID: That would be awesome! But wait—is it bad?

JERI: Some good, some bad. Don’t worry, it won’t change your actions, because after you see it, I’ll wave this, um… (picks up random Sharpie from David’s desk) magic wand! And you’ll forget what you’ve seen.

DAVID: That’s a little creepy, but okay.

JERI: You might want to sit down for this.

Then I showed David the first 75 words of THIS SIDE OF SALVATION’s first chapter:

If this were the last night of my life, I could be at peace with that.

That, and everything else, as I walk hand-in-hand with Bailey out of the pool house and back into the blare of the party. Her long hair brushes my elbow, stirring memories of reaching, fumbling in the dark, memories so fresh they feel more like dreams, not etched as events in my past, but posed as possibilities in my future.

DAVID: (leaps up) Wait—are you saying—whoa—Bailey and I get back together? And we—that part about fumbling in the dark—did we—do we…does that mean what I think it means?

JERI: (makes lip-zipping motion, then shows David the last 75 words of Chapter One):

Our parents’ bedroom door is a few inches ajar, but the room is dark. They should be up right now, yelling at us (Dad) and heaving sighs of disappointment (Mom).

I stop at the threshold, taking in the oppressive silence, then push the door open.

Lying in the king-size, four-poster bed, under rumpled maroon-and-gold covers, are two…things.

I tilt my head, as if that will change their shape and state and aspect:

Human.

Motionless.

Wrong.

DAVID: (stares, horrified) Um…

JERI: (waves magic forgetting wand)

DAVID: (blinks) Okay, so when do I get to read those 150 words?

>>>>

~

Now I’m definitely intrigued! And of course, everyone needs a magical sharpie wand, so I’m glad Jeri had one on hand ;-)


Don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 12. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the red team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

.

My Personal Giveaway! There are THREE chances to win!


There will be THREE chances to win a signed copy of my latest book ONE PAST MIDNIGHT (ARC Edition) and either EMBRACE, ENTICE, EMBLAZE or ENDLESS – the choice of which book will be all yours!

Here is what you have to do:

~

CHANCE No.1

Go to my Author Facebook Page by clicking here:

JESSICA SHIRVINGTON AUTHOR FB PAGE

1. “like it” (if you’ve already liked the page in the past, go straight to step 2)

2. Leave a comment on the page – it can either be about the Scavenger Hunt – OR – it can be a comment about why you would like to win the books, or even about which book you will choose if you win!

CHANCE No.2

1. Go to my Twitter page @JessShirvington and click “Follow”

2. Then leave this tweet:

ENTRY for @JessShirvington giveaway of ONE PAST MIDNIGHT & EMBRACE SERIES. Anyone can enter at www.jessicashirvington.com#YASH

CHANCE No.3

For a final chance to win a signed copy of either ONE PAST MIDNIGHT, EMBRACE, ENTICE, EMBLAZE or ENDLESS; simply leave a comment in the comments section below on my blog about which book you would like to win and why.

Too easy, right! Winner will be randomly selected and messaged in response in the week following the Hunt!

GOOD LUCK!

.

Ready to go to the next author website on the Scavenger Hunt? Then head over to Cat Patrick’s site by:

Clicking HERE

Posted in GENERAL, News, Publishing, Uncategorized, YA SCAVENGER HUNT | 93 Comments

CRAZY EXCITED TO SHARE THE ALL NEW DISRUPTION BOOK TRAILER!!

HERE IT IS!!

Let me know what you think!

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Disruption Blog Tour!

Hi everyone, I’m very excited to share that I’ll be taking part in a blog tour during the first week of April to celebrate the release of my brand new book Disruption.

Make sure you check out each of these blogs. They’re the perfect places to hang out online and feed your YA addiction!

Monday, March 31st – http://thereadingrealmblog.blogspot.com.au/

Tuesday, April 1st – www.pixelski.com/

Wednesday, April 2nd – http://www.speconspecfic.com/

Thursday, April 3rd – http://booknerdreviews.com/

Friday, April 4thhttp://yamidnightreads.com/

BONUS STOP:

Saturday, April 5th http://nicegirlsreadbooks.com/

Posted in DISRUPTION, News | Leave a comment

So Much Happening — SYDNEY / MELBOURNE / GOLD COAST

So much happening this week!!

GOLD COAST

This Week!
The Somerset Festival: (Wed/Thurs/Fri)

https://www.facebook.com/somersetcelebration

AND

Counting down the days to the Indie Authors Down Under Event in Surfers Paradise.

When: This Saturday from 10am
I will be there unit just after midday!

Where: The Outrigger Hotel – Surfers Paradise

Why: Check out the awesome line up of authors at

http://www.indieauthorsdownunder.com/

A little bonus: My new book – DISRUPTION – coming out April 1 will be available as an exclusive early release to people at the event

SYDNEY:
Wednesday 26th March

MELBOURNE:
Thursday 17th April


Don’t miss out – sure to be heaps of fun!!

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CALLING ALL MELBOURNITES!

I am super excited to invite you all to my just-announced MELBOURNE EVENT on APRIL 17!!

Many of you have been asking if I am ever going to come to Melbourne and now I am!! Yay!

I’m hoping to see many of you there so I can introduce you to my brand new book – DISRUPTION – and I will also be available to sign any other copies of my books that you would like to bring along!

So here is your invite and don’t forget to rsvp to the email note on the bottom. xxx

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Good Morning everyone!

Here is your official invitation to the Sydney launch on March 26, for my new book – DISRUPTION!

Some of you have been asking if I will be available for signings etc in Sydney – well this is your chance!! I’ll be there and can’t wait to meet you.

You will also be welcome to bring along any of my other books you might want to get signed as well 

Don’t forget to RSVP to the email address noted on the invite!!

Hope to see you there!!

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An EMBRACE Short Story – From me, to you!

For everyone out there who has read EMBRACE, did you ever wonder about Claudia, the girl that Violet bumps into at Hades and at the pizza place the night she has dinner with Phoenix?

Claudia was one of those characters who I always believed had a story to tell. So here it is – a little side story from the world of exiled angels and Grigori. I hope you enjoy it!!

A SHORT STORY

FAMILY TIES

By Jessica Shirvington

My feet tangled beneath me and I stumbled forwards, almost taking a nosedive. I found my balance, hitched my backpack up and powered on. I couldn’t believe it – I was going to be late, again, and Giuseppe was going to kill me. No, worse, he was going to fire me.

Last time was ‘the last time!’ he’d said, as he shook his finger at me, blowing aside the greying curls that usually fall over his eyes.

But I needed that job. I needed all of my jobs. So I kept running, knowing that by the time I arrived at the pizzeria I’d be in desperate need of deodorant. Plus, I was still in my Hades wait-staff uniform, another thing that never went down well. Working a full cycle of shifts at Hades and the opposite at Giuseppe’s had me slogging from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. seven days a week and constantly running from one side of the city to the other in the thirty-minute gaps between shifts.

I rounded the corner, almost there.

Giuseppe would forgive me. And if he started yelling, I’d just cry. That always worked. He was a tyrant, but the man couldn’t handle tears.

I pulled up short of the restaurant when I heard an all too familiar whistle. Panting, I looked around. The second I spotted my brother, Sean, my stomach churned.

What now? What more could possibly go wrong? As if our lives didn’t suck enough already.

Sean was hidden in the shadows of a doorway across the street. I put my hands on my hips and waited. If he wanted to talk to me he could damn well cross the road. I could sense one of his heavy sighs. He was only three years older than me, but he’d assumed the man-of-the-house role a while back and since then he acted as if he was twenty-two going on fifty.

‘Real discreet, Claudia,’ he said harshly, crossing the road before pulling me to the side of the pavement. He was wearing his street clothes, which meant he hadn’t been working one of his legit jobs today. I tried to ignore that reality.

‘Sean, whatever it is, I don’t have time. I’m late for work again. Giuseppe will give my job to one of his five million cousins if I don’t hurry up.’

His expression softened. I wasn’t the only one who worked constantly. There was a time when all Sean did was study for his med degree and chase girls, but those days were well and truly gone. Everyone thought he’d have this amazing future, become some kind of medical saviour. And I guess he had – just not in the way he’d thought: he was our family’s saviour. After what Dad did, Sean had been the one who kept us all going, kept us together and safe. But things had changed. He looked over his shoulder. He was scared.

I grabbed hold of his clammy hand. ‘What is it?’

He shook his head, more to himself than for my benefit. ‘We have to go, Claudes. We have to pack up and leave.’

‘But, but . . . we need more time! We don’t have the money yet!’

‘Shh!’ he hissed, his eyes urgent as he looked up and down the street. ‘I have it. I called in a favour. Claudia, we have to finish this. We’ll give them the money after your shift tonight and then we’re out of here. All of us.’

‘Why? I mean, if you have the money, wasn’t that the whole point? If we give it to them won’t they leave us alone? This is supposed to be the final payment.’

We’d worked so hard for the last year. It had all been leading to this. Every single cent we’d made had gone to them.

‘They’ll never leave us alone, Claudia. I . . . I don’t know how but they know things . . . They can do things that normal people can’t. I . . . I saw one of them this afternoon . . .’ He paled and grabbed me by the shoulders to steady himself. ‘I can’t even tell you, it was so horrible. I just know we have to go. We have to get Taylor and Mum away from this place.’

He was right. Deep down, somehow we’d always known the men who Dad had been mixed up with before he died were not normal, even if we hadn’t wanted to admit it to each another. That was why we’d been working so hard to pay off Dad’s debt. Whatever gambling mess he’d gotten himself into, it had ended up costing a lot more than just interest and I knew I wasn’t the only one in my family who suspected his death wasn’t really the result of a car accident. Sean and I had never told Mum about what his body looked like when we’d gone to identify him. We never would.

I nodded in agreement about leaving. ‘I can ask for my pay tonight. Here . . .’ I fumbled in my bag, pulling out my wallet. ‘I have my wages from Hades, too.’

Sean sighed with relief as he took the money; my contribution was definitely important, but he was the one who earned the big bucks. He’d given up everything to do so; I knew he couldn’t be doing anything good to bring in that kind of income. I wished I could hate my father for it. But he was a victim, too.

‘I’m going to get us away from all this, Claudia. We’ll go somewhere else and start afresh. We’ll get Taylor into a good school. You’ll be able to go back to art school. Everything will be better.’

I looked towards the pizzeria. I could hear Giuseppe’s booming voice.

‘I’d better go.’ I threw my arms around my brother and he hugged me back briefly.

‘I have to go organise a few things. Stay in the restaurant until I get back, then we’ll give them the money and we’re gone.’

I bit my lip nervously, but nodded. ‘Be careful, Sean.’

He mustered a small smile. ‘Don’t tell anyone, okay? We have to just disappear.’

He was looking around again, pulling his hoodie over his head. Whatever he’d seen had more than frightened him.

‘I know. I won’t.’

* * *

I watched the clock on the wall. Giuseppe yelled at me for twelve minutes, which was a long time even for him. I tried to turn on the waterworks but they didn’t come; I don’t know if it was because I was too petrified something might go wrong with Sean’s plan or if I was just too excited about the prospect of finally being free of Dad’s legacy.

Sean had known about our father’s gambling when he was alive. Apparently, a few weeks before the accident Dad had broken down and told him he was in trouble, that the people he owed money to were dangerous and would come after him. Sean had dropped out of university and started his first shift at a bar that night. I remember yelling at him the next day – not knowing why he’d done it – calling him a ‘deadbeat loser’.

I went through the motions – collecting dirty plates, loading them up on my already tired arms. At least working here, the customers didn’t get too drunk or hands-y – some nights after a shift at Hades my overly pinched ass was sorer than my feet. Here, I just had to put up with being yelled at. At least this would be my last six hours of that.

I took a deep breath while making my way to the next table, topping up their wine glasses. Everything was about to change. If Sean and I could just pull this off, if we could get Mum and Taylor packed up tonight, then by tomorrow . . . By tomorrow we could be starting our new life. I could get another job and actually use the money for something I wanted. I knew the first thing I’d buy – paint.

‘Pizza, Claudia!’ Mario yelled at me from behind the wood-fired oven.

I collected the three scorching pizzas, one resting against my wrist, but I was used to it; I’d been working there for over a year and my arms had burn scars that I was sure would never go away. I delivered the plates and noticed new customers seated in the dinky corner. We were obviously full – that was always the last table to go.

I headed over, recognising one of the diners. Violet Eden and I had gone to the same school, but I’d been ahead of her and apart from the one community art course, we had rarely crossed paths. Now this was twice in as many weeks, as if she was suddenly supposed to be in my life.

I could see her looking at me, panic all over her face. Last time I saw her she was at Hades with some hottie, getting drunk on the sly – half her luck. Anyway, she’d obviously forgotten my name. It’s so easy to tell when people do that – maybe because it happens to me all the time; all they see is my bright red hair. I flicked my hair back so my name badge would be in full view as I stopped in front of her. Relief flooded her features the moment her eyes latched onto it.

‘Hey, Violet,’ I said.

‘Hey, Claudia. So this is the other place you work at,’ Violet said, recalling the place of our last conversation. At least she’d remembered that.

‘Yeah, unfortunately.’ I smiled, but something about her was off. She was tense, sitting high in her chair, holding the menu with an almost desperate grip. She looked a little frightened. I leaned towards her, about to ask if she was okay, before stopping myself; I barely knew her, and I was about to know her a whole lot less once this city was in our rear-view mirror. Instead, I decided on something more neutral. ‘Shitty tips and crap boss, but it works,’ I said with a shrug, stepping back a little.

Violet smiled awkwardly, eyes darting between her dinner partner and me. I looked at him for the first time and almost fainted right there.

‘Claudia, this is Phoenix,’ she said, leaving things up in the air.

I wasn’t much help. I was speechless. He was beautiful; utterly, earth-shatteringly and painfully beautiful. Did people like this actually exist?

He had a strange presence, some kind of alluring humming was coming from him and I . . . I just wanted to dive in, lose myself in it.

I felt as if he knew exactly what I was thinking. I stared. I wasn’t usually brazen with guys and especially not ones who looked like that but I couldn’t bear to take my eyes from him, even though he was just staring at his menu, completely uninterested in me.

‘Pleasure,’ he said, now looking over to Violet.

But when he spoke something came over me, a feeling that was both foreign and not, as if it wasn’t mine but had been moulded from me somehow. A sureness . . . that Sean had been right. We needed to leave this city, get as far away from here as possible. I knew the light-bulb moment had something to do with Phoenix.

I swayed, overwhelmed, putting a hand on their table for support.

Violet was watching me strangely. Fair enough – I was ‘macking’ on her dinner date. How did she get all these adorable guys around her?

‘Hi,’ I said, trying to recover, looking at Phoenix. ‘Can I take your order?’

Violet cleared her throat. ‘I’ll have the Diavola pizza, thanks.’

I saw Phoenix smirk. He was looking at her so intently. She had her eyes cast down, avoiding his. I almost reached out and slapped her. It wasn’t so much that I’d been unlucky in love with a string of guys who fitted into the live-and-learn category, it was more that I had never had anyone look at me the way he was looking at her at that moment. I couldn’t imagine anything more heavenly.

Phoenix glanced my way briefly. ‘The same, and a glass of the Cabernet,’ he said dismissively.

I nodded, writing it down, trying to process the overpowering emotions I was experiencing. Yet again, I was suddenly so sure that I had to leave – had to get away.

I staggered away from the table, torn between a desperate need to escape them and wanting to grab hold of Phoenix. But with each step my mind seemed to clear. I had no idea what was going on, but the feelings that had started to stir when I’d been near him stayed. The weirdest thing of all was that I felt as if Phoenix had been trying to help me. I shook my head – crazy. He didn’t even know me.

I went to the bathroom to pull myself together. Whatever had just happened, it didn’t matter. We were leaving. Everything would be okay. I splashed water on my face before heading back out to the busy restaurant, grabbing some empty glasses from a table as I passed. That was Giuseppe’s rule, ‘Never waste a walk anywhere; you go to the kitchen, bring something with you! You leave the kitchen, you take something out!’

‘Pizza! Claudia!’ Mario yelled.

I grabbed the pizzas and got back to work, avoiding Violet and her friend. When I spotted Giuseppe I even dared to ask him for my pay at the end of the shift. He spat out a string of words in Italian and marched off. I smiled. For Giuseppe, that meant yes. I actually felt bad that I would have to leave without saying goodbye.

‘Pizza! Claudia!’ Mario yelled, again from behind the oven.

I made my way over to the two waiting Diavolas, Violet’s order. I delivered the food to her table quickly, trying not to look at Phoenix. Now that I’d managed to get my head straight, I didn’t want to risk it becoming muddled again, or do something stupid like throw myself at him right in front of Violet. I couldn’t trust myself around that guy so I concentrated on my other tables, hoping that I might be able to make some extra tips.

When the peak-time slam was over, I offered to start on clean-up. It was usually the job everyone avoided, but I wanted to do something nice for Giuseppe and it meant I could daydream about where Sean and I would take the family.

Taylor would be so excited. She hated her school. We’d had to move her into a public one six months ago because we couldn’t cover the private tuition fees. She didn’t complain but the new school didn’t have a music department and I’d heard her crying every night for the first few weeks. She had an amazing voice – I’d never heard an eight-year-old like her –­ and she loved choir. There was something about her – she was good. Sean and I both knew it – of all of us Taylor was the best. She had the potential to do something amazing with her life, make a difference. And Sean and I would do anything to protect her so that she would.

I started wiping down the prep benches and putting away ingredients. I wouldn’t care if I never ate pizza again. Pizza and the occasional pick-up from the kitchen at Hades had been the basis of all our family meals for the past year – there is only so much pepperoni one person can take.

I hummed to myself as I worked. This was it. Everything would be better once we were gone. We’d done the best we could, paid off Dad’s debt and now it was time to get on with our lives. Maybe Sean would go back to med school. Maybe Mum would be happy again and let go of some of her guilt. I think she knew what Sean and I had to do to keep us all safe – she just couldn’t bear to talk to us about it. Mum’s pride had been stripped away, but with this new start . . .

I tied the rubbish bags and used my back to push open the alley door that led out to the bins. Caught up in the disgustingness of my shoes sticking to the dirty ground, I didn’t even look behind me and backed right into what felt like a brick wall. A very human-shaped brick wall, that is.

I dropped the rubbish and tried to spin around, but an arm closed around my neck and started dragging me into the darkness while I gasped, watching the kitchen door slam shut.

Above the sounds of my scuffling feet and strangled whimpers I could hear the world around me – the traffic, the hustle, the buzz of voices. But they were so far away. Already I feared I would never again be a part of it all – a part of life.

I screamed, struggling to get away, but the person dragging me was so strong, it seemed effortless for him to counter my attempts until, suddenly, he released his hold on me so fast I fell to the ground. Too scared to look around and face my captor I scrambled to my hands and knees, my sights fixed on the kitchen door. If I could just get back inside . . . But the man grabbed the back of my shirt and pulled so hard the fabric ripped.

I heard a growl. I froze: whatever noise it was, it was not human. Did he have an animal with him? Before I could stop myself I spun around in a crouch to see him and a terror I’d never believed existed overcame me.

He was incredibly tall and eerily thin, except for his shoulders which were twice his width. He sneered at me, as if enjoying my fear, and ran a hand through his bright white hair that stood out like a beacon against his black outfit.

‘You should not have tried to leave. You belong to us.’

Oh God, help me!

I looked desperately towards the end of the alley.

‘No, no!’ I stammered. ‘We . . . We have your money! My brother will be here any second. We have all of your money!’

The man watched me with hungry eyes, making me shuffle back.

‘Your brother needs to be taught a lesson. You’re it.’

He was going to kill me. Sean would come to get me in an hour and he’d find me dead. I didn’t want to die.

‘Please!’ I panted between fear-filled gulps. ‘Please, we’ll do anything. We’ll get you more money!’

‘Should’ve thought of that before,’ he growled. Then, with a shrug, ‘But they don’t send me to negotiate.’

I backed up until I hit the wall, sobbing, and let out a final scream.

The man moved fast, inhumanly fast, grabbing me by the hair and pulling me to my feet.

All I could think about was Taylor. I prayed that she would at least go on, that Sean would find a way to keep her safe – I knew he would.

The tall blond winked as his hand moved back. He was going to beat me to death and from the look in his eyes – he was planning to take his time.

But he stopped before he hit my face, his arm dropping as his attention was drawn to the end of the alley.

I strained under his tight grip to see what he was looking at. Someone was walking towards us.

I started to scream again, a high-pitched desperate holler for life.

The man yanked me savagely, twisting me so my back was against him and his arm, once again, was around my neck.

When the person coming down the alley was only metres away I saw who it was: Phoenix, Violet’s friend. But he looked different. Stony-faced, his cold eyes were fixed on the man holding me. Suddenly, I didn’t know if things had just improved or not.

‘This is not your business,’ my attacker said menacingly.

Phoenix shrugged like he didn’t have a care in the world. He didn’t look frightened at all.

‘Just made it mine, Cherub ,’ he said, speaking the last word with venom.

‘She’s our property,’ the man snarled.

Phoenix didn’t respond. I panicked that he was going to just walk away – if he did, I would be dead.

Footsteps pounded down the alley and another figure came into view.

‘Violet!’ I screamed before I could think. ‘Violet! Help me!’

The man yanked my head back, his grasp on my neck tightening while his other hand clamped down over my mouth.

I kept my desperate eyes on Violet.

Oh God. What had I done? I’d just brought her into all of this. She couldn’t help me, how could she? She was just a girl, younger than me. She was watching, petrified. If I had another chance I’d yell at her to run.

Phoenix whispered something harshly at her but then he turned back to us, a new resolve on his face as he positioned himself between Violet and us.

‘Release her,’ he said quietly, his voice reverberating against the alley walls.

I felt the man back up half a step and then do something strange – it felt as if thick syrup was poured over me, covering me entirely and then hardening, like glass, impenetrable glass. And I was locked within.

He threw me down, my head smacking against the ground, and looked at me with absolute hatred as he commanded, ‘Kneel before me.’

I couldn’t stop myself. I wanted to kneel for him even though deep down I was still there, still petrified; he owned me. I had to do as he said.

I crawled to his feet, blood dripping from my head, and knelt before him.

‘Beg me to take your life,’ he spat at me.

My mind fought feebly – Sean was supposed to come for me. Was this the price I would pay for dreaming? Would this be the price Sean would pay, too? My heart pounded with fear as the tall man morphed into something terrifying and creature-like. Maybe I was already dead and in some kind of hell? Either way, I was in absolutely no doubt that I must do as I was told.

‘Kill me. P-p-please,’ I stuttered, tears streaming down my face.

‘No! Let her go!’ I heard Violet scream.

But it was all too far away now.

‘Claudia! Claudia, run !’

She may as well have suggested I fly. Did she not see the terrible things surrounding me?

The man pulled me up, spinning me to face Violet and Phoenix, and put a hand flat on either side of my face, holding me still.

‘If you want her, come and get her,’ he challenged, adding another word at the end I did not know, ‘Grigori .’

He lifted me off my feet, holding me out towards them.

Pain registered distantly; people were not supposed to be held in mid-air by their heads, but I was helpless, completely disconnected, locked inside my glass prison.

And I knew what he was going to do, as surely as if he had told me himself.

Violet launched herself towards me, panic-stricken but brave, eyes on mine, arms outstretched. She knew too.

Then I saw Phoenix and everything – all the pain, the fear, even the feelings of entrapment – vanished.

I was me and I was not afraid.

I was at peace.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

DISRUPTION – COVER REVEAL AND EXCERPT

Hi guys,
I’m just back from an amazing month away with my beautiful family. I had such a great time but am so excited to be home and working again! It doesn’t hurt that I have the best job in the world!!
Anyway, while I was away the cover for my new dulogy was revealed and I wanted to share it with you. So….here it is!! I absolutely love it and think it is such a great image for the main character Maggie. But I would love to know what you think, so let me know!
Also, click on the link below to read the first couple of pages!

See the full cover and excerpt here:http://www.hypable.com/2014/01/19/disruption-jessica-shirvington-cover-extract/

Posted in DISRUPTION, News, Publishing, Uncategorized | Leave a comment