Contemporary/Paranormal Teen Romance
Released October 24, 2014
Internet followers, beauty, power. It all sounded good. Until it transformed into a terrifying reality Dorianna couldn’t stop.
When her father is jailed, her mother ships Dorianna to her aunt’s house. Dorianna yearns to build a new identity, but the popular Lacey bullies her—mostly for getting attention from her ex, Ander.
Ander takes Dorianna to Coney Island where Wilson, a videographer, creates a stunning compilation of her. She dreams of being an online sensation, tired of being plain and lonely, and vows she’d give anything to go viral. Wilson claims he’s the Prince of Darkness and offers her the beauty and fame she's dreamed of—warning her that a pledge has its downsides. Dorianna has no idea of how dire those consequences might be.
EVERNIGHT TEEN AMAZON
On the way to my new school, I catch a glimpse of my face in a shop mirror. Even though I hate mirrors, I force myself to look. No one needs to remind me I’m plain.
Leaning forward, I examine my pale skin with its tracery of blue underneath. It looks like granny spider veins. And I never smile all the way. That would expose my wonky teeth—one front tooth slightly over the other.
My hair’s limp, but it’s auburn with peachy highlights. I’ve got that going for me, at least. Lifting up a lock, I admire its warm glow in the September sun. And there’s still a hint of eagerness in my eyes––they haven’t knocked that out of me. It’s hope, whispering, “Maybe this place will be different. Maybe they won’t walk past me as if I’m floating dust.”
I’ve been here in Brooklyn for four days, shuffled away from family chaos to my Aunt Carol’s house. She’s nice so far, but I don’t really know her. It’s too bad we could never afford to fly east for family reunions. I do know she’s a fundraiser for a public radio station, and owns one floor in a brownstone. And that she eats vegetarian, and neatly folds the nubbly throws on her earth-tone Pottery Barn couch.
And she’s the sister of my screw-up father.
I’m not sorry I left Wabash. School there was a train wreck. It got so lonely, watching the reigning couples kissing their way down the halls. I wanted someone’s arms around me, too, or at least another good friend after Jen. But it wasn’t meant to be, after gossip spread that my father was sent to jail for committing moral turpitude. My mom took to her bed, and I took over. We were struck with loss and horror and shock all at once. Mom needed me last spring. I tried to help in any way I could, until she insisted that I needed a total break from the family. Or was it Mom who needed the break?
I’m going to suck it up. I am. If she needs the break, she can have it. Maybe I need one, too. I’m determined to pump myself up to face a different army of kids.
Ambling down Montague Street, past the cute boutiques, I soak in the balmy September sun and survey my new stomping grounds. These Brooklyn streets are as delicious as strawberry shortcake. The narrow shops are a wonder of necklaces, handmade with glass bits and bottle tops, and leafy bracelets fashioned from green computer chips.
The caffeine-laced scents wafting from the cyber café draw me in. As I walk by, I sneak looks at the lean, fox-quick boys with scruffy hair, low-slung belts, and tees that read Neon Pandas and Oubliettes of Onyx. Bands I’ve never heard of, since out in Hoosier Land they mostly play country music.
I smile, picturing myself talking to a slinky boy who makes me my very own playlist—he’d call it Songs for a Brooklyn Beauty. A girl can dream, right?
Turning down Court Street, a woman breezes past me in a black jumpsuit. Another dramatic beauty in thigh-high boots floats by, with two dachshunds tugging against their pink leashes. As I glance back at her, I imagine her working as a Broadway actress, dancing across a stage in those fancy boots.
Just then, one of her dogs works free of her grasp, and streaks into the street. “Hey!” I call. “Hey, pup!” I dash after it, grab the pink leather strap, and coax it back toward the curb as a bakery van careens around the corner, the driver pounding on his horn.
The booted lady runs over to me. “Thanks so much!” she says, breathless.
“Happy to help. Couldn’t let your sweet dog be hit.” Our eyes meet as I hand her the leash, and her smile touches me. I watch for another moment as she walks demurely on.
Everything here vibrates with possibility, if I block out my dread of school. It’s my chance to figure out who I want to be, which I couldn’t quite do back home. I can’t wait to let my old, stale-kernel life rot on the vine, and start over.
Reading the sign on a red colonial stone building, I sway with sudden trepidation: School. Ivy sprints up its scholarly walls, and its walkway is marked with marble planters. Each one bursts with purple chrysanthemums, as if this is the cheeriest high school ever. I’m here, no turning back. Look, you’re smart, I tell myself, you tested in and even got a scholarship here. Maybe private school kids are easier on new students. Unlikely, but I’ll give it my best.
Guest Post on Sexy Villains
I like my villains smart, sexy and devious
by Catherine Stine
I like handsome, hot villains. And I tend to like them almost better than the good guys. They need to be every bit as shrewd as the heroes. Because if they’re not, it’s too easy a struggle to overcome them, and we want the battles between protag and antag to be hard won, bloody, and brimming with breathtaking plot twists.
Why sexy, you ask? The real question should be, why not? All the more intrigue and eye-candy to capture your imagination! The hero shouldn’t hog all the good looks and muscles. Besides you never know when a bad guy might turn into a flawed yet alluring anti-hero and actually win over the fair lady’s heart. Sexy rogues abound: the Joker from Dark Knight, Loki in Thor, the Avengers; Khan in Star Trek into Darkness and Alex De Large in a Clockwork Orange. The list goes on and on.
From the very early days of badassery, both real and fictitious villains like Dracula, Jack the Ripper and Blackbeard the Pirate were outsmarting god-fearing folks all around them, and doing it with magnetism and edgy swag. Here’s a telling quote about piracy from the Smithsonian:
“Out of all the pirates who trolled the seas over the past 3,000 years, Blackbeard is the most famous. His nearest rivals—Capt. William Kidd and Sir Henry Morgan—weren’t really pirates at all, but privateers, mercenaries given permission by their sovereign to attack enemy shipping in time of war. Blackbeard and his contemporaries in the early 18th-century Caribbean had nobody’s permission to do what they were doing; they were outlaws. But unlike the aristocrats who controlled the British, French and Spanish colonial empires, many ordinary people saw Blackbeard and his pirates as heroes… fighting a rear-guard action against a corrupt, unaccountable and increasingly tyrannical ruling class.”
Part of the allure is the vigilante or outlaw aspect—the baddie gets to do all immoral, outrageous things and totally get away with it, at least for a while. Often the villain truly thinks he’s doing a service—like Dexter, ridding the world of even worse killers, or Robin Hood, stealing from the rich to spread the wealth around. Another part of the allure is a villain’s pure audacity, and let’s face it—his fabulous capes, scabbards, leather boots and gold earrings! Outsmarting someone this devious takes masterful strategy and is not for the faint at heart.
In my YA horror, DORIANNA, the villain is Wilson, a tall, raven-haired stranger who claims to be none other than a Prince of Darkness. He’s also a videographer who, in minutes, edits a compilation of Dorianna so supernaturally beautiful it has her gasping. He paints his nails black, wears Victorian style silk shirts, and black skinny jeans to show off his long legs, and um, impressive physique. The possible tip-off to his degenerate side is his necklace with its mournful, spooky glass doll face staring out. Well, also his top hat and Voldemort cape he favors when the boardwalk in Coney is windy. Here’s a short excerpt showing just how charismatic he is to Dorianna:
As I watch the video compilation, what really throws me is that Wilson has magically changed me out of my school clothes—the pencil skirt and simple top—and into a yellow fringe bikini, barely covering my thighs.
An immediate protest boils up. How dare he virtually strip me. But as I stare longer at the image, I realize how stunning he’s made me. This is no porn slut image. This is the masterful, painstaking work of a cutting-edge filmmaker, amplifying tenfold the glory of his muse.
“You like?” Wilson asks, clicking stop.
Muse—I roll the word silently in my mind, taste its honeyed essence. All the concerns that crowded my mind minutes ago drift off. Things like morality and conscience seem like dirty rain clouds bumping by. Life is good, I am awesome, and Wilson’s video kicks serious butt.
Placing my hand on his long, curiously delicate fingers, I whisper, “Am I your muse?” I remove my hand only when it starts to heat up, and before he gets the wrong idea that I want more.
Or do I?
He shifts slightly in his chair, in order to line his eyes up with mine. “You could say that you’re my muse,” he admits. In his gaze, I know I could have him right now, in this room, as easily as he’s captured me on video. I could rip off his shirt and run my hands through his forest of hair. Plant a firm kiss on his lips and force them open. His tongue would taste of smoke, of musk, of infinite need. For that second, I see past his charming façade into the hunger, lodged in his soul. A lonely, desperate soul that seems to have lived for centuries, yet not quite at all—stuck in some netherworld where a virus might exist.
It takes real effort to pull away. But I have to. This is dangerous, this audacious forgetting.
Bad guys are masters of deception, manipulation, and pure wickedness. That’s why, when the good guy finally triumphs, we truly admire and love him.
Who’s your favorite baddie and why? Do you think villains are sexy?
My Answer: Too many to name! And of course! What a silly question to ask me Muahahaha! ;-)
Catherine Stine’s YA novels span the range from science fiction to dark fantasy to modern horror. Her futuristic thriller, Fireseed One was a finalist in YA and SF in the USA News International Book Awards and an Indie Reader Approved notable. Its companion novel, Ruby’s Fire was a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Awards. She also writes new adult fiction as Kitsy Clare, and her Art of Love series (Model Position and Private Internship) is about Sienna’s artistic perils in NYC. Her YA paranormal, Dorianna is her new YA horror from Evernight Teen. Catherine’s love of dark fantasy came from her father reading Edgar Allen Poe to her when she was a child. She was also addicted to science fiction as a teen. The freakier the better! She teaches workshops in writing speculative fiction and is a member of RWA, SFWA and SCBWI.
Subscribe to Catherine’s newsletter: http://catherinestine.us6.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=1fe566b1e53f7d3e95b7443e4&id=93554d599e