I want to thank Cat Kalen for giving me her spot today to allow me to promote my new release. Jet Black, available today from Featherweight Press, is the third book in my YA urban fantasy series The Dark Lines. The series is about a group of teenagers with psychic abilities, led by half-brothers Topher James and Blake Walker, who are drawn into the universal war between the forces of light and forces of darkness. It’s a series that started seven years ago with a single book, The Black Bridge, and grew into 30 books…
With the help of their new friend Misty, Topher James and his friends must fight a force of darkness. But is Misty really on their side?
When Topher James and Blake Walker receive an email from a girl named Misty saying that “something dark” has taken her sister, they know they will have to once again fight the force of darkness they’ve fought before. The nightmares Topher’s girlfriend Callie Monroe is having confirm that, and also warn against becoming involved with Misty. But something about Misty sucks Topher in, and he’s unable to resist her.
Alienated from Callie and his friends because of Misty, Topher still intends to fight the darkness. But it—and Misty—have other plans, and only Faith Carlisle can make Topher see the light before it’s too late.
Thursday night, Callie and Darin walked into the arcade while I was sitting at the change counter watching a group of younger kids who had gotten past the security guard. No surprise, since he was sitting on his stool texting again. I would have to talk to Lloyd about contacting the security company we contracted with and asking them to send a more competent guard. Meanwhile, I wanted to see if he’d notice the kids on his own, or if I’d have to do something about them.
When Callie entered, I forgot about the kids. I hadn’t seen her in almost a week, and it brought back the pain I’d managed to convince myself I didn’t feel.
She hesitated before following Darin to the counter. “Hi, Topher.”
“Hi.” I set out twenty quarters and waited for Darin to take his five-dollar bill out of his wallet. “How are you?” Somehow the small talk with the girl I loved seemed wrong, but I didn’t know what else to say to her.
Darin looked from Callie to me and put down his money. Without a word he took the quarters and went to a game.
“I’m okay,” Callie said. She tugged at a piece of laminate that had come loose from the top of the counter. “Have you heard from Misty?”
“The other day she tried to go after the darkness by herself,” I replied. “And she did something to Faith.”
“I already know about that. Gage and Blake told me. I mean since then.”
“No.” Being able to say that honestly made me feel a little better. If Callie was worried about me becoming involved with Misty, she should be glad to hear that I hadn’t had any contact with her. “I told her to leave us alone unless someone else is taken. I don’t know exactly what she did to Faith, and I’m not taking a chance on it happening again. Right now we aren’t sure how we can fight the darkness if it knows we’re coming, and we can’t do anything until we figure that out, so there’s no reason to talk to her.”
“When the time comes to fight, let me know if I can help,” she said. “And let me know when it’s over.”
“I will.” I couldn’t let her go without reminding her how I felt. “Callie, I love you.”
She sighed. “I love you too, Topher. But right now, that isn’t enough.” She glanced at Darin, who stood at one of the pinball games, then walked out of the arcade.
After that, I didn’t feel like working anymore. I went to the back room and told Lloyd that I was going home sick. He argued, and I ignored him and clocked out anyway. I thought about going through the mall to see if I could find Callie, then decided it would be better to leave her alone for a while. Instead, I went out to my car and headed for the old city.
In the darkness of late evening, the alley seemed far more ominous than in daylight. I doubted that the dark presence was the only dangerous thing there at this time of night. When I exited the car, I felt only the slightest sense of darkness. If the presence had been resting Tuesday, it still was.
As I stood there, it became aware of me. The sense of it grew stronger as it came toward me.
I had no plan in mind. I definitely couldn’t fight it on my own. Which meant I had to prevent it from bringing me through the portal. The smartest way to do that would have been to leave, which I refused to do. I was unwilling to go, even knowing the danger I would be in if the darkness made its way to me.
Suddenly it was there, overwhelming. Blackness so deep my eyes ached surrounded me. I stood my ground even as it tried to tear its way into my mind. Reaching out, I tried to communicate with it the way Blake did. If he could, I should have been able to.
It didn’t work that way. All I heard in my mind was the darkness’s hatred and fury. Now I wanted to get away from it.
I was unable to move.
Jet Black is available from Featherweight Press. (Click Featherweight’s name for the buy link.)
Books 1 and 2 in the series, The Black Bridge and When Darkness Falls, are available from Jupiter Gardens Press. (Click the book titles.)