Today I'm happy to host a fellow writer and friend: Nicole Camp, author of Shadow Born. Check out her book and learn more about her.
Eighteen-year-old Raffin has been in hiding on Earth since before he was born, but he’s more comfortable in the shadows anyway. He’s part of one of the most hated races in the universe. It’s a secret he’s forced to keep from everyone he meets.
On his first day at a new high school, Arianna Val crashes into his world, literally. One tumble on the track field and suddenly she’s acting like they’re best friends. Worse, Raffin doesn’t mind her invading his shadows — and that’s before he realizes she knows his secret. But, she’s not quite human, herself and her very life force is what Raffin needs to survive.
Can he trust her to keep his secret? Can he trust himself with Ari when his body yearns to drain her soul? Assailed by memories of death and destruction that aren’t his own, Raffin has to come to terms with the truth. He is shadow born.
I stared out over my new high school’s football field. Fursey Balfrey High, what a name. I snorted, shaking my head when the school scoreboard flashed “Go Fur Balls!” in giant yellow letters. Nice.
As the coach at this new school blew his whistle, I calmly walked over to join the rest of the class. The guy on my left lost his balance stretching and bumped into me. He gave me a look – like it was my fault or something.
“Dude,” I said, shooting him a glare. I shook my head, taking my place at the back of the class to stretch. I’d heard the guy’s thoughts through the brief skin contact. He thought I looked average — like he could take me down since I was a little pale, even for a kid from Ohio. I snorted. At least that meant that my human guise was still intact. My flesh toned skin, brown eyes, and dark wavy hair were still as they should be. There was nothing really unusual about my appearance, and hopefully there wouldn’t be while I was here.
“Tool,” I murmured under my breath, smirking as the guy straightened up and turned toward me.
“David, save it for warm-up laps!” the coach muttered from behind his clipboard. David Turk, the klutz who’d bumped into me, turned back around with a groan and started stretching some more.
I’d just had a close call with a classic jerk in my first class, on day one, at a new school. Great. David Turk was the stereotypical jock — too tan and muscle-bound. My thoughts shifted back to my own appearance and a small sigh escaped my lips.
I looked far too Raffulan to pass here on Earth, which totally sucked. My only option was taking guise pills. I thought about the little red tablets that allowed me to blend in with another species. They worked perfectly for my dad, a pureblooded Raffulan, but my mom was human, making me a “half-child.” The chemical camouflage worked to hide my Raffulan traits, but, because of my mixed blood, each dose was painful. I loathed the fact that I’d have to take some more in another forty minutes or so.
The girls’ class joined us on the track. As we ran, I heard David Turk bothering the girl behind me, talking about how her hair smelled really nice, and other things that were far less flattering. I heard her smack his hand away, at which he bellowed a laugh and made another comment.
I slowed down, glancing back at them, about to say something to him. Just then, the girl picked up her pace, trying to get away. She collided with me, and her feet got tangled with mine. I caught her arms, and as soon as our skin touched, her thoughts invaded my mind. She was thinking how much of an ass David Turk was; there was adrenaline and fear — all of it fled into me in the split second we crashed into one another.
I had no time to dwell on any of it. We went careening toward the ground, asphalt rushing up to meet us. I moved faster than I should have, throwing my weight to the side to try to redirect our fall. It worked — kind of. We hit the grass at the edge of the field in front of the fence, but it wasn’t really a ‘soft’ landing. Something stung my leg as Coach blew the whistle and called to ask if we were okay.
“Fine!” I called back, but then I tried to stand. I winced. I’d cut my knee on one of the hurdles stacked against the chain-link fence we’d rolled into. “Crap,” I muttered, knowing I could heal it, but not here. Not now. I glanced over at the girl, who was dusting herself off and getting to her feet.
“That’s a nasty cut,” she said, looking at my knee, as her fingers reached up and touched her own cheek. She came away with a little blood from the gash there.
The lady coach reached us then, frowning.
“I’ll write you two a pass to the nurse’s office. Come back to class when you’re done.” She pulled a pad and pen from her pocket and scribbled something down. She handed a pass to each of us and told the girl to help me. I replied that I was fine, and then tried not to think about the twinge of pain when I put weight on my knee.
“You should watch where you’re going,” I told the girl as we neared the school buildings, irritated that our little accident had drawn so much attention.
Her hair briefly fell across her face, but she quickly brushed it away. It was blonde with striking red highlights — kind of a punk rock look. She blinked, blue eyes wide, her gaze almost level with mine since we were close in height.
“I’m sorry. Look, Turk was…oh never mind,” she grumbled, shaking her head.
I already knew all about David Turk, thanks to the telepathic touch.
“It could have been worse. At least we landed in the grass,” she added and I grinned. “I’m Ari by the way.” After a pause, she prompted, “and you are?”
“New here.” I chuckled at her frown. Of course she knew that. Everybody knew that. I was the talk of this small school, maybe even the whole tiny town. “I’m Raffin,” I mumbled.
“Interesting name,” she commented, seeming curious, waiting for me to say more. I thought about pretending to bump into her just to know what she was thinking, but at that moment we reached the nurse’s office.
A few Band-Aids, some gauze, and an abundant amount of medical tape later, we were walking back out the building’s double doors. Ari kept reaching up to touch her face, the Band-Aid pulling at her cheek. Meanwhile my knee had already healed under the dressing. I’d let my symbiotes go to work as soon as the gauze pad was securely in place. No sense limping around campus all day. We hadn’t taken five steps toward the field when the bell rang. Class was over.
“I guess I’ll see ya,” I said, not meaning it.
“I sit under the big elm at lunch, if you wanna join me,” she replied. I assumed she was trying to be nice, friendly to the new kid. Before I could reply she had vanished around the corner, headed for the girls’ locker room. I chuckled in spite of myself, shaking my head as I walked back to the boys’ side. If she knew the real me, she’d reconsider that lunch date.
Author Nicole Camp has written three books to be published by Entranced Publishing.
Her first book, "Shadow Born" will release Oct. 14th, 2013; followed by "Shadow Throne" and the first book in a separate series "The Lady of Ispa : Magic & Meru" sometime in 2014.
Nicole is an ice cream lover, who lives in Arizona with her family and two pets. She is always working on her next writing project. When not writing, she likes to explore the world through photography, snapping pictures of her surroundings.
Social media links:
SHADOW BORN website: https://sites.google.com/site/shadowbled/
SHADOW BORN buy links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Smashwords
ENTRANCED’s buy-link: http://www.entrancedpublishing.com/imprints/rush/shadow-born/
1 $10 Amazon gift card
1 $10 Amazon gift card
Shadow SWAG (USA only)
1 black baseball cap
1 Shadow Born pin board
1 Shadow Born lanyard
1 Shadow Born tote bag
2 signed Shadow Born bookmarksa Rafflecopter giveaway
Shadow Girl Glam(USA only)
1 large star bubble purse
1 pair star sunglasses
1 silver tone star braclet
1 pair star earrings
1 sparkle nail polish
3 signed Shadow Born bookmarks
1 small black/star purse
1 silver tone bracelet
1 pair star earrings
1 star necklace
1 sparkle nail polish
3 signed Shadow Born bookmarksa Rafflecopter giveaway