Below is an excerpt from Judith Graves’ upcoming novel SECOND SKIN, the sequel to UNDER MY SKIN. Like what you’ve read? Be sure to fill out the entry form at the end of the post for a chance to win a copy of the book!
Eryn struggles to resist the beast clawing at her soul as darkness settles over her like a second skin. She’s made a deal, and she can’t let a dead man down. Not unless she wants her friends and family to relocate – six feet under.
When Eryn and her crew each face their own demons, loyalties are tested and temptations abound. Can she share a future with the brooding, noble, human Alec – the hunter after her heart? Or will she succumb to her enemy’s son, Wade, a seductive predator as bloodthirsty as she is?
What happens when you’re both the beauty and the beast?
The cool night air ghosted my breath as I tore through the trees, dodging their heavy, snow-covered branches. I leapt over the randomly placed tombstones scattered throughout Crimson Cemetery like a pro whipping through a round of mini-golf. It sucked that I was becoming familiar enough with the cemetery’s terrain to charge forward on automatic. That I was doing so for the third night that week was just plain irksome.
The hair on the back of my neck trembled. Not a good sign. I inhaled sharply, the pungent scent of hungry, drooling werewolf drifted on the breeze. I was heading right into its path.
It seemed I was always running straight toward the stuff any normal person would be running from, screaming their heads off. But then I wasn’t normal. I wasn’t really a person either if you wanted to get picky about the details. I shot a look up at the starry sky, tracking the dark form that dipped and swooped over the graveyard like some ginormous half-baked prehistoric bat. In her dark sprite form, my best friend’s wings sliced through the trees, causing mini-snowstorms to dump down on me with each impact.
My thighs worked harder as I bolted up hill, keen to take the advantage of the higher ground. Brit was closer now. Reachable. Physically at least. I knew she was hurting, no one doubted that. She wore her feelings like a shroud, blocking us out. She wouldn’t even talk about it to Matt, her boyfriend. But going all clammy wasn’t the extent of the problem.
On a nightly basis, Brit drowned her sorrows in her mother’s liquor cabinet. She was out of control, self-destructing.
Unfortunately, a lot of her pain came down to choices I made.
“We don’t have to do this tonight,” I called as I sprang into the air, swiping at the jean-clad legs hovering five feet above me. “Let’s just rent a tear-jerker and bawl our eyes out. We’ll both feel better.”
“Leave me ’lone!” Brit glared down at me, though her eyes were slightly unfocused. Her long black hair whipped around her, twitching like the tails of hundreds of angry cats. “I’m just goin’ for a walk.”
Still running at top speed while Brit flew above me, I had to laugh at her interpretation of walk.
“I hate to shatter the illusion,” I told her, “but this ain’t your average evening constitutional.” I leapt up again. Once. Twice.
“Stop that!” Brit’s expression changed from rage to shock. “What are you doing?”
“Friends don’t let friend fly drunk,” I shouted. I gripped a hand around her calf and hung on for dear life. Brit dipped at the change in weight, then surged upward and banked hard all at the same time, pin-wheeling us in space.
I looked down.
I shouldn’t have.
We’d cleared the hill and were now soaring twenty feet over the graveyard. My stomach rolled. Werewolves, vampires, and other beasties I could handle, but heights? Not so much.
Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win your own copy of Graves’ debut, UNDER MY SKIN, the first Skinned novel! For more information about this novel, fill out the form here! The contest is open to those with US and Canadian mailing addresses and will end November 16th!