Thursday, February 23

A Chance for Charity: Transcendent

A chance for charity-
Fifty percent of net sales in the month of February will go to St Jude Children's Research Hospital to support the care and treatment of children with cancer.  

For more information, check out Rita's blog post.

by Lani Woodland, Melonie Piper,
Rita Webb, Wendy Swore,
Melanie Marks, Heather McCubbin,
  and Evan Joseph
Robot Playground
December 24th 2011
Young Adult/ Paranormal

Discover the secrets of a siren, fly with a hawk girl over the mountains of Montana, and flee supernatural party-crashers as the d├ęcor comes to life in this magical journey through paranormal stories.
Along the way, watch for ghosts in a haunted house, or ride through the moonlight with a stranger. Save a comatose boy who has lost his soul, and don’t forget to bring your garlic and wolfsbane—you never know when the shadows will snag you.
Transcendent includes eight stories of magic, love, death, and choice by some of the newest names in young adult fiction.
An Excerpt from Transcendent:
Seduction of a Siren

Lani Woodland
& Melonie Piper

JASON HOLDEN DECIDED being kissed awake was far superior to an alarm clock. It would be perfect—if he knew whose lips were on his. It couldn’t be Becky’s because she recently dumped him for Trevor, the idiot varsity basketball star. And since no one had rushed forward to claim Becky’s place, he couldn’t imagine who his kisser could be.
A three-day bender had nothing on the deep haze the kiss pulled Jason from, and his mind, preoccupied with the foreign lips, took a while to realize he was wet, lying on the damp and gritty ground. Before he could ponder this further, a tongue slid into his mouth, performing a maneuver he wouldn’t have thought possible, one that made his hormones take off faster than an Olympic sprinter. This couldn’t be a dream. His subconscious lacked the imagination capable of creating that particular kissing technique.
His eyes popped open, and he hissed in pain as the punishing sunlight sent his head spinning. He tried to peer up at the girl to figure out who she was (and where he was), but the light poured over her shoulders and cast her into silhouette revealing only a feminine shape with oddly uneven hair.
The girl pulled back, moving out of his range of vision. He didn’t know where she went, and he hurt too much to even think about looking for her, so he settled for sitting up, ignoring his body’s protest, and a groan escaped his lips. He cradled his head to stop the world from tilting. Playing chicken with a brick wall couldn’t have hurt worse. Slowly his eyes adjusted to the unforgiving sun and a white-sand beach, surrounded by turquoise water.
Where was he? He ran his fingers through his hair, accidently finding a sensitive spot, and winced. When he pulled his fingers away, blood coated them. Trying to calm the sudden queasiness of his stomach, he slammed his eyes shut, but the images of the thick red liquid still danced behind his closed lids.
The blood, however nauseating, triggered his missing memories. He had travelled to Greece on a month-long student-exchange program for A.P. students. He signed up for sailing lessons so he could get away from the sight of Trevor and Becky making out at every corner, only to find out Trevor signed up as well. Even worse, he and Trevor were the only students, so they spent an unpleasant hour together before the freak storm appeared.
Jason frowned as his memory of the storm sharpened. A wave had knocked their instructor overboard and another capsized the boat, tossing Jason and Trevor shortly afterward. Jason thought he would die from the pounding waves, even with the life vest, but somehow he managed to get caught in a strong current that carried the two of them for hours.
An island, surrounded by jagged rocks, appeared on the horizon. His body tired, he clutched Trevor and swam toward the island, struggling to keep Trevor’s head above water since he had passed out after the first couple of hours. Jason barely managed to avoid the jagged rocks and drag himself and Trevor onto the beach before he finally dropped into unconsciousness.
Glancing around, Jason spotted the oversized lump that could only be Trevor, still alive, given the rise and fall of his chest. Jason couldn’t decide if Trevor’s survival really forwarded the best interest of mankind. Maybe he should have let him drown.
A hand caressed Jason’s back and massaged his shoulders. The mystery girl had returned. Whoever she was, she proved to be welcome company, her nimble fingers working through the impossible knots in his neck. Apparently her lips weren’t the only talented part of her body. Jason struggled to form a coherent thought.
“Thank you,” he tried to say, but only a hoarse croak came out. His throat ached as if cats had used it as a scratching post.
“You’re alive.” Her voice, so beautiful, stole Jason’s breath. It was low, but sweet, innocent, yet seductive, and he knew with absolutely certainty that if this was the last sound he ever heard, he could die happy. He remembered hearing it while in the water. Her voice had brought him such joy in the moment right before his head bashed against the rocks.
“You almost didn’t survive. I had to perform life-saving measures.”
“I’ve never heard of CPR being done with a tongue before, but I’m not  complaining.” Jason grinned, pleased his life had been saved by her amazing kisses and not Trevor’s, the backstabbing jerk. He cleared his throat. “Thanks again.”
“I’m Anntrophrite. Welcome to Anthemusa,” she said in her angelic voice. “I’m Jason.” He stuck his hand out and turned, prepared to see the hottest girl in the universe. Instead he stared at a grotesque and distorted monster, fit for nothing but a nightmare.
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