With only three weeks left until the ebook release of SEELIE PRINCESS, I want to give you a sneak peek at what’s waiting for you. You can read the entire first chapter below.
On some days, missing her father was only background noise. On others, the hole he’d left behind sucked all the sound from the world around her.
Today was one of those silent days.
Kayla was gazing out the window at the dull sky, her reflection blurred by the glass vibrating as the train rushed over the tracks. The image vanished as a ray of sunshine broke through the thick clouds, making Kayla squint. Her eyes took some time to adjust to the sudden brightness, but when they had, the train was already approaching the station.
“Kay, are you even listening?”
Turning away from the window, Kayla blinked at her friend Abby, who had her phone held out toward Kayla. “Did you see this? It’s a new club opening tonight,” Abby said. “We should go.”
Kayla frowned. “Can’t you ask Meghan?”
“No,” Abby said curtly. She took her phone back and shoved it into her handbag. Kayla glimpsed several textbooks, all dog-eared and worn, but that was what happened when you took a handbag to school. “Meghan’s not my best friend, is she? Besides, we didn’t go out for your birthday last week.”
Kayla hugged her backpack closer to her chest. “We went to the movies,” she said. “With popcorn and everything.”
Abby raised an eyebrow. “That’s not the same as partying. Anyway, I’ve got to get off.” Tossing back her long hair, she leaned in for a hug. Kayla held on for a second, the scent of Abby’s coconut shampoo tickling her nose.
“Text me if you change your mind,” Abby said. She stood and filed out of the train, waving at Kayla through the window.
Kayla watched Abby grow smaller and smaller as the train pulled out of the station. Once she was out of sight, Kayla took out her phone, scrolling up and down without reading any of the words. Her eyes stung with an exhaustion she couldn’t shake off.
People around Kayla rose to their feet as a crackling voice on the intercom announced their next stop and the train slowed down again. The platform was packed with commuters, impatiently waiting for the arriving train.
The brakes squealed, and the train came to a stop. As soon as the doors slid open, people pushed outside, while those waiting on the platform tried to squeeze inside. Kayla let her gaze wander over the crowd, taking in all the different people: short and tall, thin and thick, young and old, black and white. Unfamiliar faces. Except…
Brown eyes, tousled russet hair. A face she hadn’t seen in years. As the platform cleared, her father turned the other way.
“Dad, wait!” She leaped to her feet. People cursed as she pushed her way through to the exit, her eyes fixed on her father out on the platform. He was heading toward the stairs. A voice sounded from the speakers, announcing their departure. Kayla pushed and shoved.
“Dad!” She stumbled out of the train, the doors slamming shut the moment she stepped outside. The wheels of the train screeched as it left the station.
The platform had cleared. Kayla hurried over to the stairway where she’d last seen him and sprinted down the stairs, almost slipping on the last step. She skidded to a halt on the sidewalk.
Cars were rushing by, people walking along, but her father had disappeared. Heart thrumming in her chest, Kayla spun around, scanning the area. She could hardly breathe, and the rush of her blood was so loud in her ears that she couldn’t hear either.
Tears stung her eyes. She sank to the curb, hugging her trembling arms tight to her chest. After all this time, had it really been him?
It couldn’t have been him. He hadn’t been standing on that platform, just like he hadn’t been in the crowd of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade five years ago. Or in that restaurant back in her home town. Or at the lake where they went camping when she was younger.
It never was her father, just a ghost she kept chasing through the dark.
Kayla reached into her jacket pocket for her phone, but her fingers brushed something round and rough. She pulled it out and stared at the object in her hand. It was an acorn, larger than any she’d ever seen. Not that she’d held many acorns before.
Frowning, she looked up and down the streets, but the sidewalk was empty. As she twisted the acorn in her fingers, the cap came off, revealing a hollow inside. Stuffed within was some paper, which Kayla pried from it and unfolded.
For a second, the entire world stopped, shrouded in white noise, and Kayla stared at the paper in her hands. Only four words were scribbled on it.
Your father is alive.Continue reading → SEELIE PRINCESS: Excerpt #1