by C.J. Campbell
(The Veil Chronicles, #1)
Publication date: August 31st 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
To unearth the truth, she must embrace the legend within.
For eighteen-year-old Lexi, freedom is a luxury. She’s spent her life evading capture for a genetic gift that feels more like a curse. Her bulletproof immunity and monstrous disfigurement is of great interest to a secret organization, but they aren’t the only ones. A cryptic tip alerts Lexi that something else hunts her–something darker.
Desperate to enjoy her life before it’s too late, Lexi leaves the protective cocoon her parents created for her and signs up for art classes at her local college. There she meets Conner, who is confined to a wheelchair, and they become friends who are willing to share each other’s secrets. But a chance encounter with Connor’s foster brother Killian changes everything.
Killian shares the same mysterious secret within his blood as Lexi. Their fateful meeting sets off a chain reaction of catastrophic events that exposes the terrifying truth–Lexi is a celestial queen of a bygone race. Connor is their last royal heir, and Killian is a half-breed abomination hated for his very existence. With Connor kidnapped by an ancient god determined to rid the world of the stain of humanity, Lexi and Killian find themselves under the protection of the secretive Order of Kings.
Lexi believes she’s been thrown into a world of myths and legends, but things are not as they seem. Lexi becomes convinced the Order is keeping dangerous secrets that threaten not just her but all of mankind.
I slide into a slouch and make a happy hum of approval with my next slurp. Resting my head against the window, I close my eyes and listen to the rain pound. The earlier spit has given way to a deluge. This is close to my idea of bliss—coffee, quiet, and the rain.
Between the beats against the car’s chassis, something vibrates. A noise so out of place in the lullaby of rainfall that I sit bolt upright.
Another buzz, and a shiver spider-walks my spine. I squint in the dark, chest so tight it’s impossible to breathe.
A light illuminates the driver’s side compartment. The sound the plastic makes with the third buzz rattles my very bones. I shove my coffee cup into the holder and squeeze my upper half through the gap between the seat and door. Fingers outstretched, I grapple for my father’s cell phone that blurs to life for the fourth time. Once in my hand, I clutch it to my chest and curl into the darkness of the backseat, as if the shadows might somehow protect me.
The screen illuminates for the last time. I peek at the number, but it’s listed as unknown. My heart bangs so loud that I’m afraid it will shatter my ribs. There’s no one outside, at least not that I can tell, but that doesn’t mean anything.
A car pulls into the space opposite, the garish headlights flood the backseat. I gasp and throw myself onto the floor, pulling Father’s jacket over my head. Each second that ticks by feels like an eternity. My breath comes in quick, startled pants, and I shut my eyes to pray. Not that I’m overly spiritual, but right now I’ll try anything.
“Please, please don’t be them,” I mouth, fingernails biting into the plastic of the phone. “Keep my parents inside, please.”
The lights die and doors slam. A second later, feminine laughter bounces around the empty lot and heeled shoes clatter past the car. Relief rushes through every vein in my body until I’m limp as a fish.
“Thank you,” I whisper and rub a hand down my face.
I toss off the jacket and heave up onto the backseat. It takes a full minute before my breathing regulates and I no longer feel my pulse in my ears. All I can do is stare at the phone screen, at the unlisted number, and contemplate what it means.
As if in answer, the phone buzzes in my hand again. I almost drop it, ready to nose-dive to the floor, but morbid curiosity keeps me glued to the spot.
It’s not a phone number this time, but a text.
A simple sentence that reads: You can’t protect her forever, Fred. They’ll come for her. She’ll need us. T.
Clare is a successful and highly popular author of award winning Fanfiction, with thousands of online fans and over 2 million reads on her Lord of the Rings Fanfic epic. Clare has also won several writing awards within the Fantasy, Inspirational, and Short Story genres. Her story Refuge was a top prize winner and as a direct result published in Faith & Freedom anthology by EA books. She has recently been shortlisted for Writer of the Year 2019.
As well as writing, Clare is an experienced Occupational Therapist, with a passion for enabling people. She has contributed articles for online organizations aimed at highlighting disability as a positive influence in modern literature. Her love of storytelling, merged with her positive messages inspires her to create meaningful narratives that represent diversity, and promote unity.
You can learn more about Clare by visiting www.CJCampbellOfficial.com
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