By Azzurra Nox
Release Date: 02/13/15
YA Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
Sixteen-year-old Lena Martin's idyllic world shatters the night her mother dies due to a hit and run
accident. Two years later, her dad relocates her from Italy to Los Angeles to help her put behind the time spent in a psychiatric ward following her mother's death. But the move only proves to be a fatal mistake. Shortly after her arrival, the classmates of her new private school begin to commit suicide under mysterious circumstances after reading a cult book called Cut Here.
Determined to unravel the mystery behind the suicides, she bands together with loner Jonathan Russe and outcast Hope Peters to figure out exactly what is happening, not realizing that this places them under a dangerous radar. During this same time, Lena falls for a mysterious and attractive guy named Michael, who is as equally disarming as he's dangerous.
As her attraction grows, so does the body count at St. Lucy Academy. Soon, Lena needs to decide whether to stay away from the guy she's falling for, or to trust him. Is Michael behind the suicides, or is he the key that can unlock the mystery that can stop the bloodshed? Deceptions run high and Lena soon learns that nothing is what it seems.
Bethany had pulled her bob into a tiny tight bun. She positioned herself in the center of the room, avoiding her reflection and waited for her cue to begin. Her mother rummaged through sheets of music before she began to play the intro of the dance.
The steps came automatic, without much thought. Her legs and arms moved with a mind of their own, as she did pirouettes around the room. She had been dancing for eleven years, and her limbs knew exactly how to move without any technical errors. Bethany knew that her dancing was impeccable. Error-free. Perfectly flawless. What had her losing out the lead for many recitals was her lack of emotion. She concealed her feelings so well that even whilst dancing no one could understand what her character was emoting.
Bethany continued her graceful dance, the music flowing into her, as she responded to every note. The tortured tune took her back to her stay in Florence, when she spent her days reading books on folklore and listening to all the sad, sad songs that reminded her of home.
One time she found herself walking the streets of the city near dusk. She crossed the Old Bridge, looking over the stone medieval majesty and gazed at the Arno River. Florence was said to be a magical city and she believed it. Everything about it breathed a sense of enchantment. The doctors had told her mother her body was very weak. She was too underweight. At sixty-six pounds she was at risk of heart failure and respiratory problems. Her body felt exhausted. Every step she took was an excruciating effort. But she knew that she had to cross the bridge at that exact hour. Her hands clutching a little bottle as she inhaled the Autumn air. That's when she collapsed to the ground, and the world dropped dead.
“Are you all right?”
The music had stopped. Bethany was jerked back to the present.
“Why did you stop?” she questioned her mother.
“Honey, your foot....” her mother stood up from the piano, and approached her.
She looked down to see that the white en pointe slipper was soaked in red. A bloody trail sketched the macabre dance on the floor.
“It's no big deal,” she shrugged it off. For a seasoned dancer, seeing a little blood never alarmed her.
She should've felt the pain, but after many years of abusing her feet all she had was scar tissue and unhealed fractured bones. In a matter of moments she swiftly untied the silk ribbons and pulled her foot out of the slipper. It was bloody. A cracked nail. Multiple blisters around her toes. Something caught her eye. A strange black thing protruded from the side of her foot had caused the bleeding. She pulled it out without even wincing, as her mother gasped. Her heart was still, and the world dropped dead.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born in Catania, Sicily, she has led a nomadic life since birth. She has lived in various European cities and Cuba, and currently resides in the Los Angeles area. Always an avid reader and writer from a young age, she loved entertaining her friends with ghost stories. She loves horror movies, cats, and a good rock show. She dislikes Mondays and chick-flicks. CUT HERE, her debut paranormal urban fantasy was inspired by a nightmare the writer had a few years ago. Some of her favourite authors include Anne Rice, Oscar Wilde, Chuck Palahniuk, and Isabella Santacroce.