Eep! It’s here, it’s here!
I’m so excited for this epic conclusion to the Siren Prophecy series in our Shifter Academy world. It’s been a blast cowriting with my fellow authors, as well as a ton of work. But it’s here at last, and I’m so proud of it! Check out that gorgeous cover (featuring Leif and Kenzie–EEEEEEP!)
And to get things going, I thought I’d give you all a little treat – an excerpt from book 3 (an entire chapter!), straight from Kenzie, of course.
Excerpt from Summoned
**Warning, contains spoilers from books 1 and 2 of the Siren Prophecy series.
Chapter 2: Kenzie
Kenzie sat at the kitchen table, eating a bowl of Lucky Charms. Her stomach was still in knots from everything, but at least it was accepting food again.
Wes still rested on the couch in the living room, though his sleep wasn’t altogether peaceful. He’d had a few thrashing episodes, and each one sent Kenzie into a panic. What if something was wrong? There was no way to know until he woke up, and he’d passed out nearly two days ago.
Meanwhile, Leif was rotting in Heritage Prep. She’d used her magic to contact him once or twice, but conversations were difficult when he was so weak. What the heck were they doing to him? She broke down and cried about it last night, but she knew what she had to do. She just didn’t know how she was going to pull it off.
Thankfully, Mom and Gram hadn’t missed the grimoire yet. They’d been too busy tending to Wes.
Mom popped into the kitchen and grabbed a cup of yogurt from the fridge. “I have to go out and deal with Mrs. Parson. It’s a bit of a drive, so I’ll be gone for a while.” She cast a worried glance at Wes, who thankfully was still as a stone. Kenzie followed her gaze a moment longer, making sure his chest still rose and fell in steady motions. “Your grandmother is working on her own stuff, but if you need her for anything, or Wes wakes up, please go get her immediately.”
Kenzie smiled briefly and nodded, then continued chewing on her latest spoonful of cereal.
“Kenzie. I’m serious. If Wes wakes up—”
“I know. I know. I go to Gram. I’ve got it.”
Mom stared at Wes as she downed her yogurt, but he continued to look peaceful. She sighed as she put her emptied cup on the counter. “I just need you to be careful. First shifts can be rather… volatile. And he’s not staying.”
Kenzie rolled her eyes. “I know! Go! Please?”
Mom pursed her lips, but nodded. “I’ll be back as soon as I can. And I’ll leave my phone on. I love you.”
“Love you too,” Kenzie said before shoveling another mouthful of marshmallowy goodness in. She’d gotten almost all the cereal bits out and was looking forward to the sugar rush she was about to get.
Her phone beeped from where it rested on the table, and Kenzie pulled it over. The text she saw from Juliet left her feeling numb.
Juliet: Myreen surrendered herself 2 Draven 2 save the Dome. I’m freaking out. We have 2 save her! :-O
What the heck? Kenzie shot back, then dropped her phone on the table like it was hot.
Why in the world would Myreen surrender to the vampires? Kenzie’s stomach groaned, but she couldn’t bring herself to finish filling the void.
The phone beeped and she snatched it again.
Juliet: I know!!! What do we do?
Kenzie shook her head. Well, now she had two very important reasons to go to the vampires. And chances were, they’d take Myreen to the same place they were keeping Leif. At least, she hoped so.
Me: I’ve got it covered, J. Any idea how to enroll in a vampire school?
Kenzie bit her lower lip. Yeah, that looked as crazy on the screen as it sounded in her head.
Juliet: A vampire school? What are you talking about?
Kenzie frowned at the text. She’d just assumed the shifters knew about the vampire school, but maybe they didn’t.
Me: Just trying to find the best way behind enemy lines.
Juliet: Are you insane???
Juliet: I’m coming with you.
Kenzie shook her head.
Me: No way. Just hold down the fort till I get back. I’ll make sure I get credits that will transfer. 😉
Kenzie silenced her phone, her stomach churning. Again. She didn’t even want the marshmallows anymore. She threw the rest of her breakfast away and headed for the office. Maybe a little time with the grimoire would calm her nerves. Or help her find a way out of this mess.
She wasn’t sure how long she studied, but maybe an hour in, she heard Wes moan from the couch. Kenzie spit out the spell to hide the grimoire and was by his side a moment later. It wasn’t like it was the first time he’d made a noise, but that didn’t stop her from checking on him.
“Uhn, where am I?” Wes asked, his eyes fluttering open.
Kenzie gave him a half-smile as she let out a long breath. “Yo mamas.”
Wes’s brows creased, then bent upwards. “No, I— Kenzie. You’re still with me.”
Kenzie snorted. “Actually, you’re still here. Mom and Gram decided not to throw you out on your hunter butt until after your first shift.” And she should be running to Gram right now, but Kenzie didn’t want to leave him just yet. It was stupid, but she almost felt like if she took her eyes off him, he might fall back asleep and never wake up.
Wes’s brows creased again, then he laid back with another groan and closed his eyes. “The mao.”
“Yeah. What exactly happened?”
“I was tracking this girl and I got ambushed by more of her kind.”
Kenzie smirked. “A girl, huh? That was quick.”
“What? No, not like that. Kenzie, you can’t—”
Kenzie snickered. “Relax. And they’re your kind, now. Congrats, by the way.”
Wes bolted into a sitting position, and Kenzie scooted back. Wes groaned at the sudden movement, but he still had enough energy to glare. “Really? Congrats? My whole life is ruined because of them.”
Kenzie held up her palms. “Hey, sorry. But to be fair, if you hadn’t been hunting them, you wouldn’t have gotten bit.”
Wes snarled. “Yeah, because weres are known for keeping their disease to themselves.”
Kenzie’s brows rose. “Excuse me? If you’re gonna be rude, you can leave.”
The anger melted, and Kenzie could have sworn she saw Wes pale. “You’re not going to… to kick me out, are you?”
Kenzie shook her head. “Not my call.” She stood. “You’re probably hungry.”
Wes grabbed her hand and gently pulled her until she sat on the couch next to him. His fingers traced Kenzie’s jaw, leaving her body tingling with goosebumps. “I missed you, you know?” he said, his voice low.
Kenzie gasped and blinked, trying to bring her brain back into focus. “Who, me? I thought hunters hated everything non-human.”
Wes grimaced. “I’m supposed to. But I couldn’t, not with you.” He pulled her forehead to his and closed his eyes.
Kenzie’s lips itched to taste Wes’s, but her mom’s warning rang in the back of her head. This was his first shift. He’d be emotional. And if she wasn’t careful, he might mark her, whatever that meant—there was no way she was having that kind of a conversation with her mom, of all people. And she liked Wes, but she wasn’t sure if it was a forever kind of love. Being marked as his mate was out of the question.
Carefully, she pulled back from Wes, willing her racing heart to calm and the rush of longing to simmer. Truth was, she’d missed him too.
She had to change the subject. “You’re a hunter. What do you know about the vampire school?”
“The one in Washington?”
Kenzie shrugged. “Is there another?”
Wes shook his head. “Not that I know of. It’s nutso. Most people there actually want to become vampires. They’re supposed to be brilliant, but I can’t believe that’s true. I mean, who would want to be a vampire?”
Kenzie thought of Adam, and then of Leif. Adam would make a horrible vampire—and sinfully sexy, to be sure. Leif was probably one of the best people she had ever met. Period. They couldn’t be more different, despite both being in the vampire camp, so to speak.
“Like, how brilliant do you have to be to get in?”
Wes narrowed his gaze. “You’re not thinking of enrolling, are you?”
Kenzie stood, tugging on a strand of hair. “Sort of?”
Wes shook his head, his eyes glowing a dangerous red color.
Kenzie whirled on him. “I have friends in there, and I’m not going to just let them rot!” She glanced at the thin wall that separated her townhome from Gram’s and chewed on her lower lip.
“Kenzie, they’ll rip you apart.” Wes had his hands in his hair, making the strands stick up at odd angles. She hoped this conversation wouldn’t force him to shift early.
Still, Kenzie folded her arms. “I’m a selkie. I have magic.”
“They move faster than you can speak your spells.”
“Then I’ll just have to be smart about it!”
“I don’t think—” he said, pointing to his neck.
“Not like that, thank you very much. Ugh!” Kenzie threw her hands in the air. “I’m not asking for your blessing, I’m just asking if you know anything that will make this easier. I should go tell Gram you’re up.” She turned to leave, but Wes rushed to her and caught her hand again.
“I’m sorry,” he said, and she let her head loll as she turned back to him. “I just… I lost you once. I don’t think I can do it again.”
Kenzie peeled her fingers from his, injecting as much firm calmness into her voice as she could muster, though she couldn’t bring herself to meet his gaze. “You can’t lose what you never had.”
She looked him in the eyes. “If you really care about me like you think you do, you’ll let me go save my friends.”
Wes took a deep breath, lacing his fingers with hers. “Then I’ll go with you.”
“No. It’s not exactly subtle, bringing a hunter mao with me.”
Wes growled. “Stupid shifters.”
“Hey! If it weren’t for those shifters, you’d have no idea I was going anywhere.”
He examined their twined fingers, then sighed. “I guess. I just hate feeling helpless.”
Kenzie snickered. “Welcome to my world. I only recently got enough magic to change that.”
“But if you’re going in, you need to have something they want. Something they can’t get right away.”
Kenzie thought again of Leif, and an idea bloomed. “What about daywalking?”
Wes’s gaze shot to her face, his brows lifting into his granola hair—which of course looked more adorable than normal. Kinda shaggy. Dang shifters. “You can do that?”
Kenzie shrugged. “I guess. It’s in the grimoire.” A small smile worked at the corner of her mouth as she considered the selkie who had turned Leif into a daywalker—a selkie she’d just found out she was related to. It was almost no wonder Leif had held onto his love for Gemma all this time.
“You can’t! It’s not natural. Vampires shouldn’t be able to walk during the day. I’ve already seen one of those.” Wes shuddered.
“You have?” She’d suspected he’d seen Leif at some point, but the thought of the two of them running into each other… She couldn’t face that kind of possibility. Not with everything else hanging over her head
“Yeah, Kenz. It’s not right. They’re way too powerful as it is. Giving them daywalking abilities will all but ensure they achieve their goal of taking over the world. There’s gotta be something else you could give them.”
Kenzie folded her arms. “Like what?”
“Look, I’m open to ideas, but I don’t see any other way. Do you?”
Wes was quiet for a few moments. “No.” He sighed, closing his eyes. “Just, don’t go turning them all into daywalkers, okay?”
Kenzie snorted. “Yeah, not exactly my dream scenario, either.” Though, not all vampires are bad. But she didn’t want to get him riled back up again, so she kept that thought to herself.
“I really should go tell Gram you’re up. My mom will kill me if she finds out I talked to you unsupervised.”
Wes’s brows scrunched. “Why?”
Kenzie blushed and ducked her head. “I’ll let someone else explain. Just, sit down and pretend like we haven’t been talking, or something.” She waved her hand around the room, then bolted for the front door.
She stopped in her tracks when she saw Gram sitting on the porch swing. The chill winter air was still too cold for Gram to be out here for the fun of it.
“How much did you hear?” Kenzie asked.
“Okay. Well, sum it up for me.”
“Wes is up, it sounds like he’s pretty serious about you, maybe even the other way around, and you’re going to a vampire school to rescue your friends. Sound about right?”
Kenzie sighed, sitting next to Gram. Her teeth were beginning to chatter, but she didn’t want to have this conversation in front of Wes. “Are you gonna tell Mom?”
Gram pursed her lips. “I ought to. Lita will kill me if she ever finds out. How do you know your friends haven’t been turned?”
Kenzie hung her head. “One was a vampire when I met him. The other is Myreen, and I have to believe she’s still her.”
“Myreen I understand, but you’re rescuing a vampire from other vampires?”
“He’s not like the rest, Gram.”
“And he didn’t kill anyone.”
“Kenzie, he’s a vampire. Anyone who’s lived long enough with that kind of thirst has killed someone.”
Kenzie pulled her lips in and clamped down on them.
“But occasionally there are vampires worth their salt. It’s not often. Becoming a vampire changes a person on the most fundamental of levels.”
“He’s a good one, Gram. I swear.”
“And do you love him, too?”
Kenzie looked down at her lap. “I don’t know what he is to me. But if nothing else, he’s a good friend. And they’re torturing him. Gram, he sounded so weak the last time I talked to him.”
Gram sighed. “Then I don’t suppose there’s any stopping you. You already have the grimoire.”
Kenzie’s head shot up. “When did you find out?”
Gram laughed. “I found it missing earlier this morning. Don’t worry, I haven’t told your mom yet.”
“Why?” Kenzie whispered, guilt eating at her. She’d done nothing to deserve her grandmother’s help. She’d gone against everything they’d told her not to do, keeping secrets, caring for Wes at such a volatile time, trying to handle everything on her own.
“Because somewhere, your Mom and I forgot what we wanted you to be. We raised you to be strong and ambitious and loving—and you are all of that and more—and then we tried to lock all that in a cage. We wanted to keep you safe.”
“But after what happened with Dad—”
“It’s no excuse. We’ve had time to mourn that very tragic mistake and move on, but we didn’t. And for that, I’m sorry.”
Tears welled in Kenzie’s eyes. It was all so backwards, but she couldn’t be more grateful for Gram’s support than in this moment.
“I’ll cover for you here. And I’ll need you to contact me—daily, if possible.”
Kenzie sniffed, wiping the tears dripping off her chin. “There’s a spell for that. Claoigha.” She laughed, swiping at her still-leaking eyes. “Just say that and think of who you want to talk to. Better than cell reception.”
Gram smiled and pulled Kenzie into a warm hug, and they stayed that way for several long moments.
“When are you planning on leaving?” Gram asked, finally breaking the silence.
“I’m trying to wait for Wes to make his first shift.”
“The full moon is tomorrow. That usually pushes them over the edge.”
Kenzie smiled. “I’m pretty good for pushing people over the edge.”
Gram laughed. “Yes, you are, but no need to press your luck with a mao on their first shift. I’m just glad he woke up before the moon waxed full. No telling what would’ve happened if he woke during his first shift.”
Kenzie let out a long breath. “Yeah. Lucky guy.”
Gram winked. “He’s got you, doesn’t he?”
Kenzie blushed. “Sort of.”
“Never mind. You just get yourself back safe and we can sort through the rest later. Together.”
Kenzie jutted out her bottom lip and gave Gram another hug.
“Now, let’s get inside before we freeze our arses off.”
Kenzie snickered and shook her head. She definitely took after Gram. And it was nice to know she had the woman in her corner. She had a feeling she’d need it.
Hold on Leif and Myreen. I’m coming for you guys.
Siren Prophecy #3
by Tricia Barr, Jesse Booth, Joanna Reeder, Angel Leya, and Alessandra Jay
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal romance
In this thrilling conclusion to the USA Today Bestselling Siren Prophecy Trilogy, the Dome is under it’s greatest threat yet.
Myreen struggles to adapt to life under the thumb of her vampire leader father. Kol battles his feelings over the family curse while trying to save her. Kenzie dives headfirst into the vampire school to rescue her best friend and Leif, who is so broken down by torture he can barely decipher what’s real and what’s not.
The final battle between the shifters and vampires is coming. Will the prophecy prove to be true, or will Myreen fail everyone she cares about?
Also in the Siren Prophecy series: