This is the second week of our Author of the Month special featuring K.A. Tucker's books. This week we shine the spotlight on Anathema, Book One of K.A. Tucker's YA paranormal series, Casual Enchantments.
An excerpt from Anathema:
Caden’s hand—silky smooth and on the cool side—latched onto mine, sending a frisson through my body. He tugged me after him, running toward one of the tunnels and pulling me with him into the blackness.
I ran blindly, unable to see in the darkness, until my foot snagged on something hard and I stumbled, smashing my shoulder against the wall. I yelped in pain.
“Quiet!” Caden hissed, but followed that with an apology.
“How can you see?” I grated through my teeth, rubbing at the burning pain in my shoulder.
He didn’t answer. Instead, he hoisted me up by one arm and continued running. My pain instantly vanished, as if his closeness had injected me with a shot of morphine.
Finally he stopped running and set me down gently. He shoved something soft into my hands. “Put those on,” Caden instructed in a whisper.
“Put what on?”
He mumbled something incoherent. Seconds later a flickering torch illuminated a tiny, low–ceilinged cave. “Change, please,” he whispered urgently, turning to face the exit. I could sense the apprehension in his voice. It was all too familiar from the other night.
I looked down at my hands, which held a ratty pair of pants and a shirt similar to what Amelie and Fiona wore. They’re disguising me. Okay, I’ll play along. I pulled on the pants.
Unclasping my dress’s neck strap, I let the dress drop noiselessly to the ground, wishing it had allowed for a bra.
I had my arms through the sleeves of the shirt and was about to pull it over my head when Caden’s body suddenly crushed mine against the cave wall, his arms wrapping around me in a tight embrace.
“Just go along,” he whispered in my ear, close enough that his bottom lip grazed my earlobe, sending ticklish shivers through my body.
And then he was kissing me.
I had only ever kissed a boy once in my life—a chubby, awkward fourteen–year–old named Stewart who was staying in the same foster home as me. The kiss had been the result of a lost bet. It had been a dreadful, open–mouthed fish kiss and I was sure he would swallow my tongue whole. Even I—unseasoned in the make–out department—recognized that Stewart wasn’t going to get far with the ladies without vast improvement. This kiss was nothing like that. It began soft and inviting, only to intensify into urgency. Caden knew what he was doing.
Please don’t wake up right now! I pleaded with my subconscious, enjoying this too much.
“Who’s back here?” a voice called.
Caden’s grip around me tightened. His lips slid off mine as he guided my face into his strong, broad chest, away from the voice. I was relieved that my half–dressed body was well hidden against his.
“Do you mind? We’re busy,” Caden spat toward the voice.
“Indeed,” another voice said. “We’re looking for Jethro. These are his caves. You wouldn’t happen to know where he’s disappeared to?” The lilt in his voice screamed suspicion.
“Don’t know. This place was vacant when we stumbled across it a few weeks ago,” Caden replied, his tone icy.
“That’s odd … Jethro’s occupied these mountains since the war. I’m surprised he would abandon them.”
Anathema (Casual Enchantment, Book One) by K.A. Tucker
YA paranormal*Paperback, 284 pages
Published July 15th 2011 by Papoti Books
(first published May 25th 2011)
Evangeline has spent her teenage years in obscurity. Her foster parents have the emotional aptitude of robots and her classmates barely acknowledge her existence. About to turn eighteen and feeling like a social pariah, she is desperate to connect with someone. Anyone.
When Evangeline meets Sophie after literally stumbling upon her café, she believes she’s found that connection. Willing to do anything to keep it, she accepts a job as Sofie’s assistant and drops everything to fly to Manhattan, where she is thrust into a luxurious world of Prada, diamonds, and limitless cash.
With such generosity and kindness, it’s easy for Evangeline to dismiss certain oddities... like Sofie’s erratic and sometimes violent behavior, and the monstrous guard dogs. She’s even willing to dismiss her vivid dreams of mob-style murders, beautiful homeless people living in caves, and white-eyed demons that haunt her each night as figments of her imagination—especially when one of those figments is the gorgeous Caden. When she wakes up with bite marks on her neck, the fairy tale quickly turns into a nightmare. She slowly unravels the mystery surrounding Sofie and friends, and the reality of the bites and the “dreams.” What she discovers is far more mysterious and terrible than anything she could have imagined.
In a world where everyone has motive to lie for personal gain, Evangeline must decide which deception is least likely to get her killed.
About the author:
Born in small-town Ontario, Kathleen published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She is a voracious reader and the farthest thing from a genre-snob, loving everything from High Fantasy to Chick Lit. Kathleen currently resides in a quaint small town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.