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Title: Demon Royale (The Dream Slayer Series, #2)
Author: Jill Cooper
Age Group: YA
Release date: Oct. 10, 2012
Event date(s): Oct. 12, 2012
DREAM SLAYER (Book, #1) will be FREE Oct. 12-14, 2012.: Amazon
The only thing worse than dying, is running away…
Since becoming employed by a supernatural protection agency, Natalie Johnson’s life has been more interesting than ever. While most teens are working on their summer tans, Natalie works on slaughtering the undead lurking just outside her town’s borders.
The workload takes more than just a toll on her love life, it dampens her spirit and her health, as the town is plagued by a mysterious murderer intent on stealing the residents’ souls. Natalie’s investigation is hampered by her declining health and the sicker she gets, the more inadequate she feels.
Guilt over her inability to act, weighs heavily on Natalie’s shoulders during a time when her strength is needed more than ever. As some of those closest to her begin to lose faith, she must make the hardest stand yet to save the soul of the one person she can always count on:
His face twitched, his lip snarled, and his hands grabbed at her arms. “You!”
“Me?” Natalie said innocently as she made a fist and swung at his head. He caught her wrist like he was some sort of expert, twisting her arm behind her back and slamming her chest into the wall.
“To think we fear you. You can’t even throw a decent punch.”
“Hey,” Natalie huffed, storing extra air in her lungs as the man threw her down the hall. Natalie tumbled and her head collided into the wooden molding against the wall hard enough that her head crunched, and she saw a multitude of stars. The man was walking towards her, flexing and cracking his neck from side to side.
She didn’t want to stick around long enough to find out what he was going to do with her. Natalie bolted to the side through the kitchen and out into the night air. She ran, scampering like a dog up the side of the cliffs, using old roots to pull herself up.
When she got to the top of the cliff, she saw her friends sitting, Marcus juggling stakes, and Michelle combing her hair. For a moment, her eyes narrowed in anger that they weren’t more prepared, but behind her came the sound of men charging.
“Run!” Natalie said. Her heart was charging, and she had trouble catching her breath, but she couldn’t stop—couldn’t slow down. She ran to her friends, gave them a shove and shouted it again. Kenneth fell behind, so Natalie grabbed his hand and charged him through the trees.
Natalie glanced over her shoulder and saw the glow of flashlights coming through the trees. She was like ET on the run from the federal government, and it didn’t feel that far off. But who would be after her? Who would know?
They couldn’t be, as WOMP was on her side—heck, she worked for the federal government! They signed her weekly paychecks!
“Which way?” Michelle hissed as they came to a ravine. If they took a right, it would take them farther up the mountain and into nature. Long paths and sharp cliffs would be in their future. But if they turned left down the dirt path, it would lead them to the city, and the lights from downtown were a beacon through the trees.
“Head to town before they catch us.”
Natalie took the lead, heading down the mountain. Her feet skidded along the dirt path, and her foot lodged on an old tree root. She tumbled end over end until she landed on her butt right beside the state highway. Following it for less than a mile would lead them to the core of the city and a short jaunt to downtown.
Natalie was glad that Michelle helped her up with little to say about it, and they charged on ahead. “We’re headed to Buckle’s Gifts, aren’t we?” Michelle asked.
The paladin nodded and looked back at the men standing on the side of the highway. For some reason, they weren’t pursing her any longer. Instead, they were standing with grim expressions on their faces, their sunglasses steady as they stared ahead at her, even in the dark. They hadn’t broken a sweat and barely hit their stride.
“Why aren’t they coming?” Tristan asked.
“They’ve done enough.” Natalie couldn’t keep the dread out of her voice. “They’ve scared me, and for tonight, I think that’s enough for them.”
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