***This is currently a web series!!! I’m releasing a chapter at a time on my website at www.sjpiercebooks.blogspot.com. You can read there or go to Scribd, download their app, and read there.***
Hunger Games meets Avatar meets Gladiator in this spellbinding new Young Adult Science-Fiction web series by bestselling author Susan James Pierce.
Fear can make you a target…
Two hundred years after the Great Disaster, the day earthquakes ravaged Earth’s landscapes, humanity has finally regrouped and is working toward a better future. But in New America – one of three small, remaining landmasses – the threat of overpopulation makes a better future seem bleaker by the year.
Mira (Mirabella) Foster and her parents are citizens of New America, and with the threat of starvation and disease looming on the horizon, a new discovery threatens to push everyone to the brink of chaos: blue markings develop on people’s skin. Markings that are distinctive of a humanoid alien race named Changers that secretly sought refuge on Earth years ago. Markings that allow them to camouflage their skin, but also make them feared, and eventually, targets of violence.
Mira’s dad is one of them.
Anger can make you a spectacle…
Banished to a treacherous, uninhabited island, a newly orphaned Mira and her kind struggle to survive and settle into a new way of life. Her main priority becomes seeing to Jackson’s care, her friend with Muscular Dystrophy, and tending to her garden as a way of distracting herself from the pain of losing everything she loved. But just as she’s adapting to this new life, their Elders approach her with a plan to insert themselves back into New America to uncover a conspiracy. A conspiracy, they believe, that includes the presidency and landed them on the island, costing many Changers their lives, including her parents’.
In a world where staying on the island means a possible untimely death, as does risking her life to uncover a horrible secret that might one day set them all free, which one will she choose? And if she chooses to help, can she tame her anger over their mistreatment long enough to make sure their plan goes off without a hitch? Because, after all, the last thing her kind needs is to make spectacles of themselves, and as she knows all too well, both anger and fear have a perilous knack for destruction.
Following the scent of cheese toast and eggs, I stop short when I see my mom standing in the kitchen doorway, her hands fidgeting with the frayed hem of her apron, a tight smile on her face. I don’t like the way she looks at me – worried and afraid and about to cry all at the same time. “Mirabella, dear,” she says, almost whimpers. “Daddy and I need to talk to you.”
Heat crawls over my skin, flushing my cheeks and leaving gooseflesh on my arms. Dread squeezes my lungs. “Okay,” I manage, but it takes me a minute to remember how to walk. Mom doesn’t move out of my way.
I notice the radio isn’t on again. Dad usually listens to it for his morning news.
She kneels to look me at me on my level, and I know now something really bad must have happened… or is happening. Yet again, the rings around the moon were right.
“Everything’s okay,” she lies, reading my worried expression, “But I want to warn you about your father before you see him.”
My eyebrows draw together. Warn me?
I hear dad shifting in his chair, and he grunts nervously. My chest clenches tighter. All I want is to see him. To know what’s going on. I can’t fathom what she would have to warn me about.
“His skin is… different than before.”
“Yes, baby,” she soothes. “And whatever you do, please don’t scream. You know how thin these walls are.”
I muster a nod.
“Okay,” she says, clasping my hand and straightening, “It’s time.”
She leads me into the kitchen, my heart racing, eyes snapping right to my father. He’s sitting with his face behind his hands, his elbows resting against the tabletop. The skin on his arms and hands look the same to me – smooth and the color of coffee with milk. Still normal. I breathe a sigh of relief.
“Is she looking?” he asks through his hands.
I answer for her. “Yes, daddy.”
He lets out a long slow breath – a brooding sigh.
“Show her, Grant,” mom pleads.
Moments pass. He sighs again and slowly moves his hands away. Behind them, blue marks, starting at the corners of his eyes, branch out in a rough, jagged pattern – like webs of blood vessels, but more defined – over his cheekbones and stopping along his jawline. Smaller patches curl around his temples. It almost looks like a butterfly, almost beautiful, like these odd markings are meant to be there. Like someone had painted them for fun. I would assume this is all a joke had my mom not been acting so weird.
I look up to her questioningly. Why would this have made me scream?
Her hand meets her chest, and I can tell she’s relieved I didn’t freak out, but not all the concern is gone from her eyes. At least she’s smiling normally now.
“So you aren’t afraid?” she asks.
“Why would I be?”
Her lips press tight. She throws a nervous glance at my father.
“Because these are permanent,” he says. “And they’ll get worse.”
Please visit www.sjpiercebooks.blogspot.com and sign up for her mailing list or subscribe to her blog if you’d like to hear when new books come out! Coming soon:
Iris (Novella: The Captivated Series) Available now!!!
Fight for Me (Book Two: The Captivated Series)