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Imagination is the beginning of all creation. ~George Bernard Shaw

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Please Vote for Concealed in the Shadows!

You can vote daily until the contest closes on May 18th!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Learning at Home by Rhonda Cratty


Learning at Home gives parents an idea each week with which to challenge and motivate their children.

Excerpt: Family Gardens Trigger Curiosity

Take a trip to your library and find gardening books. Then read, research, plan, and shop for your garden together. Let your child watch you learn and develop new skills from research. As they watch your positive attitude toward learning and mastering gardening, you encourage learning within your child.

Let it be their garden:
-Filled with their favorite vegetables to eat.
-An ABC flower garden, filled with plants from A to Z.
-They could make it in the shape of a heart, a star, or a magic old English rock trough.

Some “tiny-vegetables” with which to charm young gardeners are:
‘La Belle’ - mini filet bean
‘Little Ball’ - mini baby beet
‘Planet’ - a small, ball-shaped carrot
‘Early Aviv’ - baby onions
‘Cherries Jubilee’ - tiny potato
‘Munchkin’ - mini pumpkins

Even with the smallest, most unlikely spaces, you can awaken the love of gardening in your children.

One of the best books to instill the love of gardens in your children is Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden.

Rhonda Cratty includes her experiences of 30 years of public school teaching, raising children of her own, and articles written for on-line and hard copy publications within the pages of Learning at Home. This new parent resource can be purchased through Amazon. For more information visit famfunlearn.com.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

COVER REVEAL: WICKED POWER by DelSheree Gladden

Book 2 in the Someone Wicked This Way Comes Series. 
Release Day: May 1, 2014
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Clean Teen Publishing 

Find out why Kirkus Reviews said: The pairing of a formulaic start and formula-breaking ending makes the book ideal for paranormal-romance readers seeking a new spin on the familiar. 



“Wicked Power is what he craves. He collects it and turns it into wicked glory—the glory of ruling everything and everyone.”

Even after Vanessa and Zander Roth barely survive the Eroi's attempt to expose them for what they are, they aren't safe. Sitting balanced on the edge of impending death and unthinkable power, they reluctantly turn to the other Godlings for help. 

What they find and learn while being trained by the arrogant leader makes them question whether they are being trained to be a weapon for good or evil. Soon enough, Van and Zander find themselves once again on opposing paths. 

A lot of things happen to Godlings as they near their sixteenth birthday, including the impending full strength of their hunger. When Van starts exhibiting some strange abilities, which include a heightened intuition and frightening visions of the future, she soon learns that she's not like the others. She knows she must do everything she can to protect her secrets from their leader, who will use her as a weapon if he finds out. Thankfully, Van is not alone. She has the help of her best friend—and the one boy she shouldn't be falling in love with—Ketchup. 

While Van is dealing with her own problems, Zander finds himself embracing the training of the Godlings, even though their methods are cruel and harsh. He finds himself clinging to the hope that he can redeem himself, even after falling into Ivy's trap and putting their family's lives in danger. Along the way, Zander finds himself falling for an unlikely accomplice, who has him wondering if he even loved Ivy at all. 

Redemption and protection both take a backseat when a shocking discovery puts everything they have worked for in jeopardy. The choice between safety and freedom has never been more important, and in the end… they may not have a choice at all. 

Wicked Power is the second book in the all-new paranormal series, Someone Wicked This Way Comes.


WICKED HUNGER by DelSheree Gladden

AVAILABLE NOW!
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing




“Save him and hurt him, don’t save him and hurt him. Pain, either way. Delicious pain. Hunger will be the only one that wins. Hunger always wins.”

Vanessa and Zander Roth are good at lying. Their whole life is a giant web of deceit made in an effort to conceal the deadly secrets that plague their family.

Zander will do anything to forget his mistakes, including pushing everyone away. He was barely surviving in his self-forced solitude before Ivy Guerra entered his life. The new girl in school, with her pink-striped hair and unyielding curiosity, incites something wicked inside Zander that can only be blamed on his family genes. Now Zander is forced to fight an internal war and make a choice between loving Ivy Guerra and killing her.

Vanessa wants nothing more than to shed the strange powers she wields and be normal. Because if Van were normal, she’d be able to have normal things… Like a relationship with the boy she’s been secretly in love with for years. Unfortunately, her life is anything but ordinary. That boy who owns her heart just happens to be her brother’s kryptonite and a potential liability for her entire family. When choices between love and family loyalty have to be made, Van finds herself faced with an impossible decision.



As if the Roth family needs anything more to worry about, a vicious plot to expose Van and Zander for what they are is uncovered. When it becomes apparent that someone close to them is at the center of this devious plan, the fight to maintain control and keep their cover ensues. It's a seemingly impossible battle because something is causing their powers to stir stronger than ever before… and it won’t stop until Van and Zander give in to their wicked hunger.

Wicked Hunger is the first book in the all-new paranormal series, Someone Wicked This Way Comes.


KIRKUS REVIEW OF WICKED HUNGER

Teenage siblings with a dark secret find their lives complicated by the arrival of a mysterious girl.

Zander and Van are tougher and heal faster than ordinary teenagers. However, the price is a terrible, mysterious hunger—a bloodlust that becomes intensified by specific individuals. Younger Van does her best to suppress it so she can have friends and a normal life; Zander instead keeps everyone at arm’s length and warns Van that once her 16th birthday hits and her powers reach full strength, she should do so as well. Ivy, a new girl—cousin to one of Van’s friends—puts everything at risk. Both Zander and Van hunger to hurt her, but Zander falls for her in a push-pull love story reminiscent of Twilight, right down to Zander’s sneaking into Ivy’s room to watch her sleep. Van, however—when she’s not busy with a love triangle of her own, with a mysterious boy she’s just met and her trusty best friend, Ketchup—is suspicious that certain things don’t add up with Ivy. The conclusion, made strong by unraveling secrets and formula-shattering twists, sets up a sequel.

The pairing of a formulaic start and formula-breaking ending makes the book ideal for paranormal-romance readers seeking a new spin on the familiar. (Paranormal romance. 13-17) 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


DelSheree Gladden lives in New Mexico with her husband and two children. The Southwest is a big influence in her writing because of its culture, beauty, and mythology. Local folk lore is strongly rooted in her writing, particularly ideas of prophecy, destiny, and talents born from natural abilities. When she is not writing, DelSheree is usually reading, painting, sewing, or working as a Dental Hygienist. Her works include Escaping Fate, Twin Souls Saga, The Destroyer Trilogy, and Invisible. The first book in the Someone Wicked This Way Comes series, Wicked Hunger, is scheduled to be released through Clean Teen Publishing on April 1, 2014.

Want to READ MORE from Clean Teen Publishing? 

Check out our huge selection of amazing reads! There's sure to be something for every reader! 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

JOIN US IN CELEBRATING CLEAN TEEN PUBLISHING'S ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY! 

WOW! We cannot believe that we are nearly upon our first year anniversary since we released our first book through Clean Teen Publishing! In under a year, we have grown to 19 authors (and still growing) with 47 books published or slated for publishing by this Summer and a dedicated fan base in the thousands and multiplying! We couldn't have had such a successful first year without the support from our fans, the Blogger community and voracious readers everywhere! This is why we want to thank you by giving you a present on our anniversary! We will be giving away a Kindle Fire and a CTP Swag pack on our anniversary of May 17, 2014! Join the giveaway below. 



MY, HOW WE'VE GROWN:

OUR OWNERS- Rebecca Gober (Upper Left), Courtney Nuckels (Lower Left), Marya Heiman (Upper Right), Dyan Brown (Lower Right). 


OUR SUPPORT TEAM- Cynthia Shepp- Editing (Left), Melanie Newton- Social Media and Submissions Team (Middle), Kelsey Gainer- Submissions Team (Right). 


OUR AUTHORS- From Left to Right- Gabrielle Arrowsmith, Melissa Cunningham, Jon Messenger, Sherry Ficklin, Peggy Martinez, Angela Townsend, Amanda Strong, Jennifer Anne Davis, K.C. Finn, Kelly Risser, Alicia Michaels, Holly Kelly, Erica Kiefer, DelSheree Gladden, Cindy Saunders, and Lauren Nicolle Taylor. 

OUR SELF APPOINTED MASCOT- Mr. Squirrel.

OUR BOOKS- Check out all of our books on our website: Clean Teen Publishing / Crimson Tree Publishing


Friday, April 4, 2014


EARLY RELEASE ANNOUNCEMENT!

LOSING LOGAN by Sherry D. Ficklin

IS AVAILABLE TODAY!

Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, Suspense

"What if the one thing you never meant to hold on to, is the one thing you can't let go of?" 


Save $2 on the purchase price of Losing Logan for 72 Hours Only! Reduced from $4.99 to $2.99! Early Release Special! 

Losing_Logan_EbookNormally finding a hot guy in her bedroom wouldn’t irritate Zoe so badly, but finding her childhood friend Logan there is a big problem.


Mostly because he’s dead.


As the only person he can make contact with, he convinces Zoe to help him put together the pieces surrounding his mysterious death so he can move on. Thrust into his world of ultra popular rich kids, Zoe is out of her element and caught in the cross-hairs of Logan’s suspicious ex-girlfriend and the friends he left behind, each of whom had a reason to want him dead. The deeper they dig to find the truth, the closer Zoe gets to a killer who would do anything to protect his secrets. And that’s just the start of her problems because Zoe is falling for a dead guy.





Please help us spread the news about this early release by sharing this blog post, Tweeting it, Facebooking it and/or Pinning it!  


READ THE FIRST CHAPTER OF LOSING LOGAN NOW:

SO WHAT IF LOGAN WAS DEAD? I mean, it’s not like he owed me money or anything. I pause at
the top of the stairs, letting my mom move around me and walk inside. To my left a group of girls are holding each other and ugly crying. I try to assure myself that the display is genuine and has nothing to do with the swarm of reporters behind me, their cameras clicking like insects. 

“I bet not one of those girls even knew Logan,” I grumble. 

“Firstly, everyone knew Logan. And secondly, quit being such a judgy-Mc judge-sickle.” 

To my right, Carlos holds out his hand, which I take and allow him to lead me inside and down the hall. Leaning over he whispers in my ear. “I can’t believe you wore that.”

I look down at my dark jeans, carefully tucked into tall brown boots. My steel grey scarf hangs over my light tan sweater. I’d even taken the time to throw my long brown hair into a messy bun. “We can’t all afford to look like movie stars,” I mumble back.

Carlos, with his rich brown skin and dark hair looks like he should be on a billboard somewhere, and the dark fitted suit he’s wearing only enhances the effect. He’s gorgeous. One of those genetically gifted boys who could bat his eyelashes and have any girl he wanted. You know, if he actually wanted girls. He weaves our arms together and pulls me up to a tall pedestal with an open book laying on it. A few people in front of us are signing in like they are registering for a giveaway at the mall. I shift uncomfortably. 

“Relax, Zoe. It isn’t a funeral. Just a viewing.”

I shake my head, “That’s even worse.” I lower my voice so no one else can hear, “Who would want to look at a dead body? I mean, it’s just kinda twisted, right?” He pats my hand. “Closure, darling. It’s a chance to say goodbye.” 

“I said goodbye to Logan a long time ago,” I say while looking ahead at the room beyond the pedestal. Rows of neatly assembled chairs are nearly filled with people from our quiet little town. Some are talking, most crying. A few are just texting or playing on their phones. I feel my breathing pick up as a warmth spreads under my skin and wraps tightly around my chest. I shudder and it slices down my spine like electricity. 

“You guys were friends, right?”

I feel the frown on my face. Friends. Yeah, right. “Our parents were friends when we were little,” I say dismissively. The truth is, once we hit middle school, everything had changed between us. He got popular, and I got weird. We went our separate ways and never spoke again. Here we are, getting ready to start our senior year, and Logan would have been the reigning king of the school. I, however, am doomed to spending another year eating lunch in the drama department with Carlos while he updates his vlog, watching the school lacrosse games from under the bleachers, and spending my Friday nights reading in my bedroom. Not that there’s anything wrong with any of that. A shove from behind pushes me into the group in front of me. Kaylee Greely brushes past us. She and her entourage of well dressed clones don’t bother to wait in line, they go straight to the front and the crowd parts for them. Scribbling quickly like she’s signing an autograph she strides into the main viewing room, not even bothering to remove her large sunglasses as she takes a seat in the front row. As Logan’s girlfriend, I feel a genuine twinge of sympathy for her. Right up until she pulls out her compact and reapplies her lip gloss with a loud smack of her lips. 

Carlos tilts his head and sighs deeply. For a split second I think he’s admiring her ass, then I realize his eyes are laser fixed on her designer handbag and I chuckle out loud. Everyone in line turns to stare at me. I can actually feel the blood rush into my face. Carlos turns, blocking me from view and I can breathe again. He fiddles with my scarf, twisting it and tucking it until it’s sitting perfectly against my small chest. “I really don’t want to do this.” 

Carlos tugs on my earlobe. “Don’t worry Zoe Bowie, I’m here.” 

I shake my head. “Let me rephrase. I’m not doing this. I don’t even like half of these people. Hell, I didn’t like Logan when he was alive, and I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I miss him now that he’s gone.” I swallow. Imagining myself sitting in one of those black folding chairs, listening to crying girl after crying girl get up there and whine about what a great person he was and how he changed their lives. I throw up a little just thinking about it. “If my mom asks where I went, tell her I had a nervous breakdown and had to go home.” 

He smiles deviously. “I’ll tell her that you, being the delicate flower you are, were overcome with grief and had to excuse yourself to the fainting couch,” He says in a thick southern accent. 

“Why thank you Miss Scarlett.”

I can’t help but grin. I know it’s been his dream to play the lead in the local theater company’s production of Gone with the Wind since he was five. My remark earns me a kissy face and a wave as he turns to go inside. 

I’m all ready to make a break for it, when I get a glimpse of something out the corner of my eye. As I turn to get a better look, I see a boy walking away and into the coat closet at the other end of the hall. I don’t know why I follow him, but my feet are moving before I can fully rationalize it to myself. My boot heels clack on the stone tile floors and sounding like a heartbeat, slow and steady. I run my fingertips along the beige walls as I pass by what I hope is the casket showroom and not some sort of demented waiting room for whoever’s next in line for viewing, then a room full of comfy looking floral chairs, and finally an office. At the very end of the hall, the door to the coat room is ajar. As I reach out and push it open, an army of shivers march up my back. 

If this was a horror movie, this is the part where I would die. 

As soon as I step inside the door, the boy turns and my heart sinks into my feet. For a minute, I just stand there, staring at him like an idiot. All I can feel is icy cold air from the vent in the ceiling blowing down on me, chilling me to my core. Then the anger flows in, replacing the cold shock with a flush of heat. I reach behind me and slam the door shut. 

“What is your freaking damage, Logan?”

He stares at me, his green eyes wide. “Excuse me?” My eyes narrow. I know what’s going on here. 

“I’m being punked, aren’t I? This is some stupid reality TV show or something right?” 

He just stands there looking confused. “Does your family know you’re alive? I mean, seriously, if this is some dumb publicity stunt for the reporters out front...” I’m so angry I don’t even know what to say. Logan has always been a bit of an attention whore, but this is a new low. My hands are balled onto fists at my hips. “Say something, Logan. Please. Find the magic words to make this whole mess not be the most horrible thing a human being has ever done in their entire life, ever.” 

“Zoe?” his voice is soft and he has a dumb half grin on his face that I remember from when we were kids. I have a desperate urge to remove it with my fist. “What are you talking about?” 

Oh, sure. Like I’m the crazy one. “You are a giant douche hammer, you know that? I mean, what is this? Some idiotic attempt to get extra credit in English class? Tom Sawyer 101? I mean, those people think you’re dead! We all thought...” I trail off again, the words jumbling in my brain before I can get them out. I’m so angry I’m bordering on incoherent. My pulse is racing and my whole face feels hot. I need to calm myself before I completely lose it. I take a deep breath, hold it for a second, and then release it slowly. 

He takes a step toward me, tilting his head curiously. “You can see me?” 

“Okay, that’s it. I’m not falling for this...whatever this is. I’m going to march in there and tell your mother right now.” 

He straightens, a cocky grin spreading across his face. That’s a look I’m more used to seeing on him recently. “You’re going to go tell my mommy on me? What, are we five again?” 

I grunt and flip him off, throwing the door open. “Wait!”I hear him call behind me but I keep going. 

Inside the main room his parents have taken seats next to Kaylee in the front row. Ignoring the minister speaking from the pulpit I stride up the center aisle, stomping angrily. I’m almost to the front when I realize something. The dark brown casket is open. My pace slows and I see Logan’s face, his eyes are closed like he’s sleeping inside the white satin lined box. I spin, looking behind me, but he’s gone. I spin back around and take the final steps to the coffin, clutching the sides for support. 

Up close, I’m not sure what I’m seeing. He looks kinda puffy and waxy. Maybe that’s how he’s doing it. Maybe it’s some kind of wax dummy. I reach out to touch his face when a sob from behind me snaps me out of it. Two pairs of arms grab me from either side, Carlos on my left and my mother on my right. They quickly usher me back down the aisle to a chorus of sobs and camera snaps. I’m shaking. Around me there is a thick white fog clouding the very edges of my vision. 

“Mom?” I ask. She’s soothing me, patting my hair and rubbing my back. Outside they lead me to the car amidst more cameras clicking. I can barely walk. My knees are like Jell-O and I feel like I’m breathing through a straw. I gasp and the fog gets worse. I feel Carlos slip me into the passenger seat of mom’s old Camry then he thrusts a bottle of cold, sweaty water in my hand. 

“Are you okay Zoe?” My mother asks, kneeling in front of me. She has her nurse face on and I know if I say the wrong thing, I’m going to end up spending the night in the hospital.

“I think she’s in shock,” Carlos says, patting my hand gently. I pull it away.

“Not helping, Carlos.” I look over at my mother who is clearly on the edge of panic. “I’m fine. Just, overwhelmed. Can we just go home?” She nods, patting my knee before moving to the other side of the car. Carlos gently turns me in my seat, trying to help me buckle. Behind him, on the steps to the funeral home, Logan is standing in the sunlight. Only, the reporters are all ignoring him. 

I grab Carlos by the lapel and jerk my head towards the stairs. “Do you see that?”

He turns and looks over his shoulder. “What?” 

“Do you see anyone on the steps?”

He frowns, “No. Why?” 

I shake my head, squeezing my eyes shut. “Never mind. I think my breakfast grape juice fermented. I’m gonna go home and lay down for a bit.” 

He shuts the door and I lean out the window to give him a peck on the cheek. 

“Take care, sweetie. Call me later when you are feeling better.” 

I tug my hair out of the bun and let it fall around my shoulders. A familiar ache is growing inside my skull and I know if I leave it in, it’ll only make it worse. “I will.” 

He steps back onto the curb and we speed off. I don’t open my eyes all the way home, I just let the cool wind blow knots into my hair and try not to think of the thousands of pictures of me freaking out coffin-side that are hitting the web as we speak, or of Logan’s face in that coffin. I fail on both counts. 
Sherry's-an-Author-030Sherry D. Ficklin is a full time writer from Colorado where she lives with her husband, four kids, two dogs, and a fluctuating number of chickens and house guests. A former military brat, she loves to travel and meet new people. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.

She is the author of The Gods of Fate Trilogy now available from Dragonfly Publishing. Her previously self-published novel After Burn: Military Brats has been acquired by Harlequin and will be released in 2015 with a second book in that series to follow. Her newest YA steampunk novel, EXTRACTED: The Lost Imperials book 1, co-written with Tyler H. Jolley is now available everywhere books are sold and her newest YA novel, Losing Logan, is due for release in 2014 from Clean Teen Publishing.

  

More from Clean Teen Publishing:


   
 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

WICKED HUNGER by DelSheree Gladden

Release Date: TODAY! Wicked Hunger is Finally Available!!!
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
 
 
“Save him and hurt him, don’t save him and hurt him. Pain, either way. Delicious pain. Hunger will be the only one that wins. Hunger always wins.”
Vanessa and Zander Roth are good at lying. Their whole life is a giant web of deceit made in an effort to conceal the deadly secrets that plague their family.
Zander will do anything to forget his mistakes, including pushing everyone away. He was barely surviving in his self-forced solitude before Ivy Guerra entered his life. The new girl in school, with her pink-striped hair and unyielding curiosity, incites something wicked inside Zander that can only be blamed on his family genes. Now Zander is forced to fight an internal war and make a choice between loving Ivy Guerra and killing her.
Vanessa wants nothing more than to shed the strange powers she wields and be normal. Because if Van were normal, she’d be able to have normal things… Like a relationship with the boy she’s been secretly in love with for years. Unfortunately, her life is anything but ordinary. That boy who owns her heart just happens to be her brother’s kryptonite and a potential liability for her entire family. When choices between love and family loyalty have to be made, Van finds herself faced with an impossible decision.
As if the Roth family needs anything more to worry about, a vicious plot to expose Van and Zander for what they are is uncovered. When it becomes apparent that someone close to them is at the center of this devious plan, the fight to maintain control and keep their cover ensues. It's a seemingly impossible battle because something is causing their powers to stir stronger than ever before… and it won’t stop until Van and Zander give in to their wicked hunger.
Wicked Hunger is the first book in the all-new paranormal series, Someone Wicked This Way Comes.

KIRKUS REVIEW OF WICKED HUNGER

Teenage siblings with a dark secret find their lives complicated by the arrival of a mysterious girl.
Zander and Van are tougher and heal faster than ordinary teenagers. However, the price is a terrible, mysterious hunger—a bloodlust that becomes intensified by specific individuals. Younger Van does her best to suppress it so she can have friends and a normal life; Zander instead keeps everyone at arm’s length and warns Van that once her 16th birthday hits and her powers reach full strength, she should do so as well. Ivy, a new girl—cousin to one of Van’s friends—puts everything at risk. Both Zander and Van hunger to hurt her, but Zander falls for her in a push-pull love story reminiscent of Twilight, right down to Zander’s sneaking into Ivy’s room to watch her sleep. Van, however—when she’s not busy with a love triangle of her own, with a mysterious boy she’s just met and her trusty best friend, Ketchup—is suspicious that certain things don’t add up with Ivy. The conclusion, made strong by unraveling secrets and formula-shattering twists, sets up a sequel.
The pairing of a formulaic start and formula-breaking ending makes the book ideal for paranormal-romance readers seeking a new spin on the familiar. (Paranormal romance. 13-17)

EXCERPT FROM WICKED HUNGER:

“Oscar,” I snap. His mouth stops blabbering and he looks up at me. “I need to know if Zander’s in trouble.”
“Trouble,” Oscar says. He nods deeply. “Tell me everything.”
So I do.
I force myself not to look over at Ketchup once during my explanation. I hadn’t been planning on letting him in on the secrets of our family right now, or any time, to be perfectly honest, but what else was I going to do. There was no chance I was going to ask him to step out. Not only would that be incredibly unfair after I forced him to bring me here, but also, as much as I love Oscar, I do not want to be left alone with him. My mouth spills out the details of Ivy and Zander’s bizarre relationship as I pretend Ketchup isn’t listening to a word of it. I tell him about our hunger reactions, my suspicions, Zander’s love, his likely confession, and his slip that Ivy was somehow going to help him.
At that last part, Oscar’s entire body goes rigid. His eyes latch onto me like a barbed dart, painful and difficult to be free of. “She thinks she can help him?” Oscar says. “She won’t. She won’t help him. She doesn’t really want to. Ivy, Ivy. Ivy is lying. Ivy Guerra. I don’t like her name. Vines and War, that’s what her name means. She will wrap herself around Zander and strangle the life out of him, start a war that none of us can win. Ivy Guerra can’t be trusted.”
“I…what? Her name means war? What are you talking about?”
Oscar tsks at me, one finger of his bound hand bobbing up and down. “I told you to keep up with your Spanish, Van. It’s always useful to know languages. Shows you things that others miss. Guerra means war. Ivy is here to start a war.”
“How could you possibly know that?” Not that I disagree with him, but he’s actually crazy. I suspect Ivy is trouble because of what I’ve seen. I want to stop her, but I’m not going to launch a full out campaign against her on the word of my murdering, psychotic brother.
The dull thud of Oscar’s head hitting the metal table startles me. I look down at him. Panic creeps under my skin. Is this the end of his lucidity? It can’t be. I have more questions still. “Oscar. Oscar! How do you know Ivy is here to start a war? You have to tell me or Zander might get hurt.”
“Oh, Zander will get hurt.” The muffled slur of his words makes them even more ominous. “That girl is no good. If you want to save Zander, you have to stop her, but he’ll still get hurt. Save him and hurt him, don’t save him and hurt him. Pain, either way. Delicious pain. Hunger will be the only one that wins. Hunger always wins.”
My fingernails are digging into Ketchup’s skin. Pain ripples around his wrist, but I pay it no mind. All my focus is on Oscar. “How do you know about any of this, Oscar?”
“They didn’t want me to know, but I found out. Someone tried to help me, and I didn’t believe them. I searched and asked and demanded and screamed until someone told me. They didn’t want me to know, but I found out. I found out, and it made me angry. So, so angry. Furious. Irate. I wanted blood and pain and death when I found out. Nothing could feed my hunger enough, not after being starved for so long. I found out, and they paid for it. I made them pay.”
“Oscar,” I whisper, his words making more sense to me than I wish they would. He made them pay. They didn’t want him to know. He made them pay. My shaking rattles the uneven legs of my chair against the floor, a skittering noise that fries the last of my barriers. I ask my last, most frightening question. “Oscar, why did you kill Mom and Dad?”
“Because,” he hisses, “because, because they lied to us. They knew. All along they knew who we were, what we were, but they tried to pretend, change us, turn us into something we aren’t, starve us, deny us, make us suffer for years and years and years! They said they loved us, but they lied! They lied! They lied! THEY LIED!”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

DelSheree Gladden lives in New Mexico with her husband and two children. The Southwest is a big influence in her writing because of its culture, beauty, and mythology. Local folk lore is strongly rooted in her writing, particularly ideas of prophecy, destiny, and talents born from natural abilities. When she is not writing, DelSheree is usually reading, painting, sewing, or working as a Dental Hygienist. Her works include Escaping Fate, Twin Souls Saga, The Destroyer Trilogy, and Invisible. The first book in the Someone Wicked This Way Comes series, Wicked Hunger, is scheduled to be released through Clean Teen Publishing on April 1, 2014.

Want to READ MORE from Clean Teen Publishing?

Check out our huge selection of amazing reads! There's sure to be something for every reader!