ABOUT THE BOOK
As the demons near, the Essences rise . . .
AJ had never been particularly athletic or coordinated, so waking up to realize she suddenly has super-human strength is a massive, mind-shaking shock. Finding that she’s gained a stalker overnight is another mark in the unusual category, and when she discovers she’s always had the essence of a werewolf in her blood, her world all but shifts beneath her.
Demons, she’s told, are looming in the world’s future, and the only hope humanity has of surviving their arrival is if she and teenagers like her surrender their humanity to dive into their mythical essences. Fairies, dragons, dwarves, mermaids… The remnants of seventeen different fantasy species must come to life to save the lives of everyone.
Someway, an army of supernatural teenagers must prepare to meet the demons escaping from their dimensional banishment, or everything ends. Can these teens succeed and save the world?
EXCERPT FROM WITHIN THE ESSENCE
Even though she wasn’t searching for a point of focus in her gazing, she soon found one. The insane stranger from the school’s parking lot was less than ten feet away and watching her.
AJ tensed, then twisted to sprint away, but his words kept her in place as he advanced.
“It wasn’t intuition,” he insisted. “Like it wasn’t adrenaline. Why won’t you believe me?”
By now, he was inches from her, and she still wouldn’t make eye contact.
“Look.” She cleared her throat after her voice cracked. “I don’t know who you are, or if you’re stalking me, or what, but you can’t just show up—”
“You’re in no danger. We’re in a hospital, complete with officers and security cameras, not to mention patients, staff, and concerned well-wishers.” His lips quirked into another grin. “No need to create witnesses this time.”
“Just leave me alone.”
“I can’t do that.”
“Why not?” Though she struggled to keep calm, emotion tainted her words.
He sighed tiredly. “The last time I told you why, you ran from me.”
“Because it was crazy talk!”
“As crazy as a girl who can hear whimpers from two floors up? I overheard all of that conversation earlier, and that’s not counting whatever else you experienced today. What will it take to convince you something’s different here?” Reaching out, he took her chin in his hand so he could gently force her to meet his gaze. “What can I say or do that will get you to listen to me?”
Part of her wanted to hear him. She couldn’t deny, regardless of trying, that life had devolved to things impossible over the last twenty-four hours.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Connie L. Smith spends a decent amount of time with her mind wandering in fictional places. She reads too much, likes to bake, and might forever be sad that she doesn’t have fairy wings. And that she can’t swing dance. Much of her preferred music is severely outdated, and as an adult she’s kind of obsessed with Power Rangers. She has her BA from Northern Kentucky University in Speech Communication and History (she doesn’t totally get the connection either), and her MA in English and Creative Writing.
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