On the surface Emma Cole's life seems perfect. With looks, brains and superhuman abilities, there's little that fazes her. That is, until she begins the search for her biological family.
Emma winds up in Rushwood, Oregon, where being the new fae girl in town is just the least of her worries.
Her biological father won't rest until she's dead, the fae's Earthbound resistance expects her to lead them, and her only hope of making any of her troubles right, depends on a journey to a mystical place just beyond Earth's realm.
Help comes from unlikely sources, but in a town like Rushwood, Emma's seldom sure who she can trust.
With betrayal and deception the norm, resisting the charms of local boy Noah should be easy, yet Emma soon finds herself caught in a sexy, but dangerous romance.
Then there's the matter of what she truly is, a guarded secret that when revealed, makes life as Emma Cole more perilous than she would have ever imagined.
Fans of YA Adventure & Action/Fantasy, strap in and hold on. This is just the beginning of Emma's story . . .
"Emma, you're daydreaming again," my best friend Chloe whispered deep into my ear. She was right it would seem, half the class had already left and the other half were fooling around with some kid I'd been in classes with for years, but still never caught his name.
"They should make school more educational, then I'd pay attention," Chloe rolled her brown eyes. It was a thing with her, one that made me wonder what it'd be like to have them stop. To make her brown eyes just not move anymore. I almost laughed thinking about the freak out session Chloe would have.
"If by educational you mean fun, then of course I agree," she said now, making a little room so I could stand.
"By educational I mean educational Chloe, you know how boring this stuff is to me." We walked towards the exit and paused, waiting on the throng of students busy rushing to their second period classes, before stepping cautiously out to go to our own. It was history with the most monotonic teacher that ever existed. History with Mrs. Rhineheart.
"We aren't all geniuses Emma," Chloe said dryly, her eyeballs making their circumference so quickly that I would miss it if I blinked.
"I've told you before," I responded calmly, pulling the aluminum handle of our classroom door, "I'm not a genius Chloe, I'm just better at most things than other people are," I wrinkled my nose a bit at this and Chloe laughed at my jab. We didn't have a petty kind of friendship like the Pinks who ruled the cafeteria, lockers and well, anywhere they decided was theirs on school property, or like the Geeks who constantly tried to one-up each other to see who'd be employed by Google first. Chloe and I were simply friends. It was why what I was going to do to her wouldn't be fun, or educational for me. In fact, I was sure I wouldn't like it one bit.
The school day dragged on as they always did, with one teacher blurring into another. Literature becoming foreign languages, languages becoming numbers, numbers becoming music. It was like a never-ending flood of useless information, its only purpose to keep me away from my true calling. My true purpose.
I was sitting with Chloe and a few of our Peripherals, a private name we'd attached to the three others who made up our little band of merry souls. In truth, we were known around school as the Emos, for no other reason than we'd all mutually decided that we'd become 'freaks who no one could ever love' -- Lucy Queen of the Pinks had screamed at us once.
What had begun as a simple joke, a way to annoy others, had turned into a lifestyle. It worked out perfectly for all involved. Chloe and I sat at the top of the pyramid, then there was Chaz, Barry and Dominic. We were blissful in our solitude. Besides a few bullying attempts - even the jocks steered clear of Dominic our resident strong man - our little group worried about little.
"... my dad was so damn uncomfortable too, I'm sure he thought I was going to confess or something," Chaz was saying laughing, and we all joined him. He was self-proclaimed bi-curious and his poor father had no clue what to make of his son, who one day blasted Lady Gaga like there was no tomorrow, and the next urged him to go to town football games, fiercely painted face and all. I personally always thought that Chaz preferred guys to gals, but it was obvious to us all that he wasn't yet prepared to admit this.
"At least he's not on your case about every little thing, every minute of every day," said Barry, grumbling as he always did. I couldn't resist needling him,
"It's impossible for that to be true Barry, after all, you spend most of your life here at school, the rest is probably spent in your room, having 'quiet time'." The others snickered at my implication and Chloe jabbed me with her elbow. Barry's face reddened slightly,
"I can take you into quiet time with me if you like," I wrinkled my nose in distaste, but before I could retort amidst the laughter coming from the group Chloe jumped in,
"Come on now kids, that's no way to act in civilized company,"
"If only we were eh Chlo? And you, the least of us all," Chaz's eyes twinkled as he teased and Chloe turned her jabbing elbow and rolling eyes on him. Dominic was quiet as always and soon I'd blocked out the others' playful conversation and focused on him. He got so still when he was like this, a seemingly immovable force just watching what was going on around him.
I found myself wanting to pause it for him, the way I did in my head sometimes, for fun. Let him literally walk around the pieces on the board of our huge football field, as players trained, cheerleaders cheered and others sat, like us, just hanging out. Out of the four, if there was anyone I'd like to show my secret to, it was Dominic. He was the only one I felt not only wouldn't tell, but would truly appreciate it. He was an observer by nature and that was something that in the last few years, I'd also become rather adept at.
"Earth to Emma?" I blinked my eyes rapidly as Chloe's fingers snapped before them. "You really are in a dream world nowadays, what're you thinking about so intently anyway, it's ..." She stopped, looking at me stricken for a moment,
"I'm sorry Ems, I didn't mean to," I made my face go mushy, with just the right hint of sadness, then added a gloomy smile before answering.
"It's really okay Chloe, you haven't done anything,"
"I know but it just happened and I should know better than to bring it up,"
"Okay Chlo, she obviously doesn't wanna go into it, let's just get to class okay?" Chaz broke in. I had to give it to my group of friends, though they slipped up occasionally, they all respected my wishes since the accident and acted as if everything was normal. Like I still had parents who loved me and when I went home, it was to a house full of joy and laughter.
The Coles were renowned for their hospitality and my friends had been the benefactors more times that I could count. Before the year of change, I'd loved every minute of it. I felt proud that my mom and dad were the ones people came to if they were in trouble or needed help. I thought it was awesome that my friends always wanted to hang out at my house and that my parents went above the call of duty to be accommodating. That hadn't been the truth though, and now I knew it all, everything they'd ever done seemed like nothing more than an extravagant lie. They'd wanted me to love them; they'd wanted to be everything to me, so I'd be blinded and never question.
"I'll meet you guys after then, we can walk over to Ems," said Chloe gathering her things.
"Can't this evening, I've got to sort out some things with my dad's lawyer," I lied. I was getting good at bending the truth. Chloe's eyes took on a shadow of sadness for my loss once more. No doubt she assumed it had to do with my late parents' affairs.
"Okay no problem, we can hang out tomorrow," her smile came back as bright as ever as she called to Dominic, "What about your house Dom? Can we invade? I've got the new Assassin's Creed I want to try out and my PS3's busted." Chaz and Barry had already started heading towards the main building and Dominic, standing, spoke for the first time.
"Sure Chloe, but we're going to have to stop at the store on the way. Aunt Charlotte hasn't shopped for days."