TEASERS

Demon World
I didn’t try to talk to Mrs. Rinehart after class ended. I figured it was best to wait until school was over, when there wouldn’t be anyone around to hear me plead—or to see her cave in. The rest of the day crawled by. Those two words and all the questions they had raised kept ringing through my mind. At lunch, I could barely eat a thing. My last three classes were a blur. I took a test in one of them; hopefully my answers wouldn’t be complete gibberish. At long last, the dismissal bell rang. I rushed back to the second floor and found Mrs. Rinehart alone in her room. She took one lo...
You Promised Me Two Years
  The classes were not what Tyler expected. Although he was only a few months older than Connor, he was a full year ahead of him school-wise, and he’d figured he’d have to sit through lessons he’d already learned. Not so. Students at the Academy made up their own schedule according to what they were interested in. Connor’s classes included the most advanced science courses the Academy offered. In three of them he wasn’t even following the same curriculum as the rest of the students but had his own advanced work and experiments set up in a corner. Tyler also thought he’d need to ...
Beneath the Twin Moons of Haldae
After leaving the village, Kris ran for three hours before allowing himself to think back on the parting words of the Elders. Only after he had exhausted himself crossing the plain to enter the forest did it feel safe to let his anger rise. His low growl startled a handful of blue and green birds into flight, and his eyes followed them for a second, his ears flattening over his head. Small and graceful, the birds rose through the branches, reaching for the gray-blue sky above. He could have shifted now, and joined them—joined them in freedom. His bird form wasn’t as elegant or colorful as...
You Promised Me Two Years
  When they first met, Connor stared at Tyler for the length of five heartbeats, his gaze flying from Tyler’s shoes to his shirt, his tie and ending on his face. The scrutiny felt unpleasant, and Tyler couldn’t help but wonder what Connor Saw when he observed him. His clothes were brand new but nothing special: a white button-up shirt, a dark blue tie with two white stripes to indicate he had two years to go after this one before graduation, black slacks and a black blazer with the Academy’s insignia, the stylized profile of a woman’s face, embroidered over his heart. Connor’s clot...
Demon World
As a child, I never slipped and betrayed my fathers’ secret. When I did, I was almost seventeen, and it wasn’t an accident. I knew exactly what I was doing when I told her. Or at least, I thought I knew what I was doing. My dads used to ask me when I came home from school: did you talk to anyone about us? Did you say the ‘V word’ at all, for any reason? The answer was always no. I mean, I talked about them sometimes, or even said the word I wasn’t supposed to use. Who doesn’t, really? It’s like trying not to use the word ‘demon’; it just comes up. But I never said it in connection...
Beneath the Twin Moons of Haldae
Another fit of coughing shook Zaren’s body. Covering her mouth, she turned away from the man—Kris, she thought his name was—and took the opportunity to look around her. She was sitting a few paces from the river, beneath the cover of the trees. To her relief, the large, wolf-like animal that had swum with her in the river was nowhere to be seen. Reassured about her immediate safety, she turned her attention again to Kris. Kneeling by her side, he was observing her with a slightly expectant look, though she had no idea what he could want from her. Her observer training kicked in and she ...
You Promised Me Two Years
  The first few days at the Academy were cold, and it had nothing to do with the January weather. Everyone in the school had been identified by a Prophet or seer as being important to the future of the world—and especially the future of the country—in some measurable way. Or rather, everyone was supposed to have an important role to play some day. On the other side, Tyler’s own importance was fully dependent on Connor’s. Quiet rumors also swirled through the hallways, as elusive as tendrils of fog, that a spot in the Academy could be bought. Apparently, parents only had to know ...
Beneath the Twin Moons of Haldae
“Zaren Hall speaking. Request immediate assistance. I lost control of observation vehicle seven-seven-B-eight above the fifth planet of System fifty-nine. I repeat. I need immediate assistance. My OV is about to crash on—damn it!” The last thing Zaren saw before the automatic safeguard ejected her from the cockpit was the blinking line on the transmitter screen. No signal. The two words echoed in her mind as her seat fell freely through the air, leaving her struggling for breath. She had been ejected too high in the atmosphere. She gasped and fought back the black dots that were thr...