Read Chapter One of TIED (FireBorn1) by @LaneyMcMann @JTaylorPub #YA
To celebrate the holiday season, I’ll be sharing the first few chapters of TIED, book 1 in the Fire Born Novels trilogy, over the next few days.
YA Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
My window opened easily. The same way it had so many times before. Climbing out on the ledge, I found the ground empty and dropped from the second floor—a jump I’d made a hundred times. In another life.
My feet sunk into the sand, and I followed the well-worn pathway through the dunes. Even the strong evening winds hadn’t misshaped the deep gully. The ocean’s breeze lashed at my hair as the moonlight glinted off the water’s surface. Seagulls flew up from their nesting grounds. They should have recognized me, since I’d been wandering at night for so long. Wrapping my arms around my knees to block the slight chill, I settled in the sand, and the birds quieted in a tight huddle, the wind blowing their feathers in awkward angles.
My gaze fell on a figure standing beyond the dunes edge, a shadow hidden within the darkness. My pulse quickened, but I didn’t move. Another trick—an illusion. Weary of the games my mind continued to play, I bit back tears and the catch in my throat. I should have been immune to them—the hallucinations—the way they haunted me and followed me, but I wasn’t.
Forcing myself to blink, I turned my head away. The visions had grown worse as I’d become older. I’d tried to convince myself they were nightmares—or weird dreams. Hoped for years
they were, but only people who sleep dream.
Unable, or unwilling to stop myself, I glanced back over my shoulder, thoughts flooding my brain. Memories I knew couldn’t be memories but I cherished all the same. For years I’d tried to shake them away. To make myself forget. I couldn’t.
A stone raps against my bedroom window. I creep over and peer through the blinds. “You’re late.” I lean out over the sill, grinning at the boy staring up at me.
“Come on, let’s go before she comes,” he says.
I climb onto the window ledge. “Be nice. She’s my friend.”
“Okay. Jump.” He waves at me to go faster.
“Move, and I will.” He takes one casual step to the side.
The jump isn’t too high; I make it all the time.
He grabs my hand when I land beside him in the soft sand.
“One, two …”
“I’m going to tell!” Benny runs across my yard toward me, her blonde pigtails flapping in the wind. “You’re not allowed to talk to that boy, Layla! Your mom said!”
Max tightens his grip on my hand. “Shut up, Benny! I’m old enough.”
“You’re only nine. Don’t go! “
“Three!” Max and I leave the ground.
“You’re going to get in so much trouble.” Benny’s yell rings in the distance.
Our feet touch down in the wet grass of the Otherworld, icy sea air whipping at my face.
“Hopefully, she won’t follow us again.” Max lets go of my hand.
“She won’t. I told her not to.” I lead the way down the cliff face to the ocean.
“She never listens to you.” I glare at him and keep walking.
“Wait.” He scrambles down the path after me, losing his footing on the rocks for a moment before he catches himself.
I reach for his hand, my fingers brushing over the leather bracelet wrapping his wrist—the one that matches my own. “Let’s go see if the water spirits are out.” Pulling him beside me, I run through the last stretch of pebbles to the sand.
“The Merrows don’t like to be gawked at. Let’s do something else.” He tries to yank his hand away, but I tighten my grip and hold it in place.
“We could play skip the stone.” His voice rises above the wind in my ears. “I’ll let you win this time.”
“I’m the youngest, so I get to choose what we do.”
“You chose last time. And who said you were the youngest? Anyway, the Merrows hate us. Let’s do something else.” He trudges along behind me, pouting.
My laughter rings on the wind.
The sting of loss reverberated in my chest as the chill of night air seeped into my bones. I opened my eyes to the darkened shoreline and glanced again toward the dunes. No shadow remained. No one stood watching me. I had lost my mind.
(end of chapter)
Stay tuned for chapter two and thank you for reading! 😉
This entry was posted on December 20, 2014 by Laney. It was filed under A Fire Born Novel, Books, TIED, Young Adult Novels and was tagged with Author, Fiction, J. Taylor Publishing, laney mcmann, Layla and Max, The Fire Born Novels, TIED by Laney McMann, YA Fiction, young adult paranormal romance, young adult urban fantasy.