to save the one person left in my life, my half-sister Addie.
Trilogy (Uniquely Unwelcome, Blood Burdens, and Sacrifice: A New
some pay the ultimate price as Racquel fights an ancient evil that is
determined to make the Earth bleed, and Racquel with it.
Shadow World are intertwined within her DNA. She has never craved
attention. She just wants to be able to live as normal life as she
can. But she’s about to find that even though she’s uniquely
unwelcome wherever she goes, her abilities also make her the best
chance the Shadow World has to stop a threat to all the Shadow races.
Once arriving home, Racquel finds that greater evils exist and that
the person she cares for most in this world, her half-sister Addie,
has been kidnapped along with other Shadow World beings. Racquel
finds herself facing horrible odds with those who would rather see
her dead than alive. As her journey continues, Racquel learns more
about herself, what she is capable of, and that not every being looks
at her as an abomination. Coy, a human captive that Racquel saves
from the Vampires, starts showing kindness toward her. Racquel tries
putting distance between her and the human boy but as they spend more
time together it becomes harder and harder for Racquel to fight the
affection she wants and needs. But will Coy’s friendship and her new
found discoveries be enough to help Racquel unravel the strangest
mystery that has ever plagued the Shadow World?
even among her fellow werewolves, shape-shifters, vampires, and
witches. Growing up, she was bullied and tormented for being a
“hybrid,” a condition frowned upon by Shadow society. After
saving her sister and a number of other kidnapped Shadows from a
diabolical plot to create a Shadow army, many have found a new
respect for Racquel, but she is far from accepted in Shadow society,
and the evil is far from over. To complicate matters, Racquel now
finds herself torn between two brothers. Coy is caring and has helped
Racquel through her struggles, and Micah, who Racquel has only met
once but who is somehow, having dream conversations with him. Racquel
becomes torn between following her heart while breaking it at the
same time. In the second installment of the Shadow World series,
Racquel and her sister Addie face off with the Shadow leaders against
a threat that could bring the world to its knees. Power will be
pushed to its limit, hearts will be broken, and some will pay the
ultimate price as Racquel and her group of Shadows fight against an
ancient evil that is determined to make the earth bleed and Racquel
worlds. In desperation, the Shadows—the loose alliance of Vampires,
Werewolves, Witches, Shape Shifters and Faeries—turned to Racquel
for help against the sorceress Cerelia, who threatened all Shadows.
Now that Racquel has protected the Shadows by defeating Cerelia, it
seems like things are picking up. Racquel is ready to challenge the
Shadows’ Ruling Council on the injustice of the laws that made her
and her family outcasts among the Shadows, and which is causing
suffering among her friends. Racquel has little time to enjoy her
victory. Micah, an innocent subjected to experiments by Cerelia and
now the only other person in the world like Racquel, is summoned to
appear before the Ruling Council to be examined. The Council has
already warned that if Micah is deemed to be “unclean” and a
threat to the Shadows, he will be executed. And there are agendas
hidden in agendas, as well. A secret faction wants to challenge
Racquel, who they still see as being an unclean creature due to her
mixed-Shadow heritage. Worse still, the mysterious prophecy made by
Kaya, queen of the Fay, is about to become true, and Racquel is about
to be faced with her deepest fear: that she is still unwelcome in the
world. Betrayed trust and a new danger to the Shadow world are
waiting for Racquel, and in the end, she may have to make the
ultimate sacrifice in order to save the world and her friends from
I often wonder if my great grandparents could see the torture I am enduring now, would they still have married? I would like to think not. Who would want to put their own flesh and blood through such humiliation and pain? I wouldn’t.
The ropes around my wrists cut and pinch my skin, causing blood to drip down the frayed rope and onto the ground. I try again to pull against their hold, hoping to break them so I can run, but it does no good. The pain is bearable, but not by much.
“Let’s see how she likes this.”
Irving, the vampire dick who captured me scavenging through the woods for food, unravels a whip. I want to scream, beg, and plead for them to show some mercy, but it wouldn’t do any good. These bastards are in this for the thrill and giving them what they want, to see me weak, isn’t going to happen when I know it will do me no good.
Ravyn runs her black manicured nails up Irving’s arms and across his shoulders, her eyes dancing with delight as she looks at me.
“You know I could do so much more,” she pouts in Irving’s ear.
I narrow my eyes, seeing as it’s the only thing I can do, and bite my tongue. I want to tell the witch to go to Hell, but she’d enjoy that too much. From the moment I was dragged through the gates of their little village, her blue eyes have shown with hatred and maliciousness. They hate me, and although the law keeps them from killing me, it doesn’t keep them from having a little fun. What they consider fun anyway.
“You had your fun earlier,” Irving hisses. “Now it’s my turn.”
Oh yes, the air being shoved against my chest until I couldn’t breathe had been a blast. Let’s do it again.
Irving steps forward, his grip tight on the black leather whip, and his black eyes trained on me. The crowd cheers him on as he unravels the whip from his grip and lets it fall to his side, preparing it for use. I do my best to mask my fear, it will spur them on if I don’t, but I know it’s there. I can’t help it.
Irving brings the whip up and I close my eyes, bracing for the impact. The sound of whip cracks, and I jerk, waiting for the sting. But instead of the sting from his leather whip, I feel the bite of the leather seat in front of me as I dig my fingers out from it. God, I hate reliving those horrid memories. First time around was enough.
Taking a deep breath and setting back against my seat, I cringe at the torn leather in front of me and hope I can get off the bus before anyone notices. At least I didn’t scream this time.
I glance out the window to see where we are and am surprised to see we’ve already arrived in Cloverville, Va. My hometown. As it turns out, you can always return home, true, but it doesn’t mean you will be welcomed. Sorry gramps and grams, there was no such luck like you had hoped here in Cloverville.
The bus comes to a staggering, brake squealing stop right in downtown. No one makes a move to get off the bus and I begin to wonder why the driver stopped, when he rises from his seat and starts my way. His uniform is snug, the buttons almost popping over his pudgy belly. Sweat beads on his balding head and I can hear his heart racing faster with every step he takes toward me.
I know he is coming to talk to me. I’m the only one sitting near the back. Funny that I was the last one on the bus, but when I first sat down I had neighboring passengers all around me. Now, they all are sitting toward the front. It’s no real surprise. The witches who had been sitting in the seat next to me had no problem showing their disgust once I took my seat. They were quick to get up and move to the front. It was the humans that slowly started easing toward the front during the long drive from Nashville.
When the driver is a few feet from me, he stops and raises his hands as if I’m a hostile passenger. “Excuse me ma’am, I believe this is your stop.”
Glancing out the window again and seeing the hustle and bustle of civilians and Shadows going about their day, I look back to the driver and shake my head. “I’m getting off at Red Tree Street.”
He wipes the sweat from his forehead. “I’m sorry Miss, but this is the only stop in town. We had to cut back on stops due to economic reasons. There is no stop near Red Tree anymore.” His voice shakes from his nervousness, a reaction Shadows often get from humans – especially me. It’s as if their sixth sense is kicking in just a bit to let them know something isn’t right. It’s not that our appearances are different. We each look human, our supernatural abilities well maintained and hidden.
What gives me away, are my eyes. Most Shadows have a natural shade of eye color, which helps them blend in with the humans. Not me. Mine are pearly silver, outlined by darker silver, with dark purple pupils that sets the silver off. My long black hair gives it that final pop that screams she isn’t normal.
Mumbling my thanks, I reach down to gather my stuff. By the time I get to my feet, the driver has already scurried back to the front, buckled his seat belt, and is anxiously waiting for my departure.
Each step toward the door is agony. Was it ever my plan to come back to this godforsaken town? Never. I know what’s going to happen the moment I step off this bus. Foot traffic will stop, eyes will turn, and accusations will begin. Welcome home, Racquel.
As I pass the other passengers, most turn to look out the window and ignore me all together. However, there are a few who give me the stank eye as I pass, and what sounds like a good farewell back to Hell. How classy.
It’s funny. I’ve prepared myself for the last two weeks. Kept telling myself this is the best thing for me and that it would all work out somehow. I was fine. But the moment my feet hit the asphalt and the bus doors squeak shut behind me, unease hits hard. It could be due to the glares and gasps of shock. But I expected that.
The truth. I’m a failure. When I left home last year, I had every intention never to set foot in this town again. But after a few beatings and almost starving to death, I realized my journey was pointless and had no choice but to return here. It’s all I’ve ever known, even if all I’ve ever known is hatred.
Whispers reign all around me as I make my way past group after group of Shadows now gathering to gossip.
Screw them and their pure blood.
published by Ponahakeola Press. A reader from a young age, Brandy has
always loved folklore and stories of beings that go bump in the night.
family and friends, throwing around crazy ideas, teaching, and
singing like a rock star at a concert for no one else but herself.
She loves plants, but unfortunately is a killer of anything that
requires water but can’t voice (scream) their needs.
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