A Young Adult Urban Fantasy Novel
Summer Break Blues
The Clanless, Book 2
J. A. Campbell
Release Date November 30, 2015
Purchase on Amazon
I survived my senior year of high school despite being turned into a vampire. Summer break should be a snap. No getting up early or making excuses why I can't make it to class or hang out with my friends.
I had hoped to put the events of last year behind me. Unfortunately, the Sidhe won't let me. Nobody holds a grudge like they do, especially when you kill one of their own. They're intent on making my life miserable and considerably shorter. When Ann's parents vanish while vacationing in Maine, we head out to find them. Of course, the Sidhe follow and I manage to capture the interest of another vampire. One who wants answers as to what makes me different. Answers I don't have and that might just get me killed for good this time.
Dealing with supernatural attacks while trying to find Ann's parents keeps us on our toes but as long we’re together, we can handle anything. At least until things really start to fall apart.
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The girl next to me scooted out of the rows of seats and hurried up to the stage. She wore a huge smile as she turned to wave after he handed her the diploma.
I can do this. I took a deep breath, trying to steady my nerves. Walking out in front of everyone was tough, knowing most of them actually watched me. It was harder ignoring the panic surging through me and demanding I hide, but I managed to smile and wave at my mom while I accepted my diploma. I didn't run as I left the stage, though I wanted to. Relief washed through me once I stood with my friends, Steph and Ann. The relative anonymity of the crowd helped. I don't sweat, but I wiped my hands on my gown anyway.
Steph gave me a worried look. "You doing okay?"
I laughed quietly. "Is it obvious?"
Ann grinned. "Yes."
I rolled my eyes. A last minute rainstorm had allowed me to attend my high school graduation, but rays of sun peeked through the clouds and made me even more uncomfortable than the crowd did.
Finally, it was over, and we were able to leave the auditorium. Steph, Ann, and I stayed together and waited in the hallway for our parents to catch up. I tried to ignore the flowing crowd of people I'd known for years, focusing my gaze on the floor and hoping no one would try to talk to me. Unfortunately, even after several months of being a Vampire, I wasn't comfortable around them. I still felt like they knew something was wrong with me.
It was irrational–if most of the people in my class even bothered to give me a second glance, they wouldn't be able to tell the difference. I'd mostly kept to myself before becoming a Vampire, and now I only hung out with Ann, Steph, and the guys–who we were supposed to be meeting at the Steak 'n Shake later.
Our parents pushed through the crowd and joined us in our corner with big smiles plastered on their faces. Though we'd already endured countless pictures, Mom took several more.
"We're so proud of you three," she said, apparently sensing my annoyance.
"I know. Sorry." I can do this, I repeated to myself. I can get through the attention.
She gave me a hug.
"Okay, we'll let you go, then. I know you have plans, but don't stay out too late," Steph's mom said.
They congratulated us one more time before filing out with the stragglers. We waited, not ready to brave the parking lot yet.
"So, it's summer," I said after a minute of silence.
Steph laughed. "Master of the obvious there, Meg. What's up?"
I scuffed my feet, staring down at my black robe. "I don't know, well…it's over. High school. Now we have to go to college. And well… I still don't know what I'm going to do with myself."
"You are going to the college here with me and Steph, and it will be like high school, only with less parental supervision."
"Ugh." I hoped it wouldn't be just like high school.
Ann giggled. "Well, hopefully we can avoid some of the events of high school."
"I agree, but really, Meg, I think you're worrying too much. College isn't easier than high school, but I think the living arrangements will be. We're in the same dorm. We might even be roommates."
I groaned. We wouldn't learn the living assignments until right before we moved in. I prayed whoever was in charge took note of our requests.
"Don't worry about it now, Meg. It'll work out. Besides, we have two and a half months of freedom to enjoy."
"Yeah. Sunny freedom." I glanced at the slowly brightening sky for emphasis.
"So we'll have a lot of sleepovers. Ann is staying with you for a couple of weeks. I'll stay, too, or we can go to my house. Ann's parents even said we could stay at their place, as long as we didn't have any wild parties." Steph grinned.
I couldn't help smiling. "Yeah, us and our wild habits."
"Exactly," Steph said.
"All right. I'll stop worrying about it." I'll try, anyway.
"Good. Now, let's go." She pulled a mirror out of her purse and checked her hair and makeup. Steph didn't need makeup to look beautiful. She was tall, athletic, and had great strawberry-blonde hair hanging just past her shoulders, pale creamy skin, and cute freckles across her nose.
"Anxious to see Gary?" Ann tilted her head. She was shorter than me and Steph, slightly plump, with mousy brown hair. Her eyes were a lovely hazel, and the eye shadow she wore today made them look green.
Steph blushed, shoved her mirror back into her purse, and hurried out the door.
Ann and I traded an amused look before following her to my Jeep. "How's Alexander?" I lowered my voice, as we walked.
Ann sighed. "He is fine and trying to return, but his family and the rest of the Seelie are not very happy with him right now. He said not to worry."
My gut clenched. Not happy with him probably meant not happy with me, too. I was more than partially responsible for the events upsetting them.
"It will be okay, Meg. It really will."
I let her squeeze my hand and tried to believe her. In a way, it was okay. Ann was alive, and to save her life I would do it all over again, even the becoming a Vampire part. It didn't stop me from worrying though.