Excerpt from Dark Before Dawn by Stacy Juba
Now available for Kindle, Nook, & Smashwords with a paperback edition coming in November. The e-book edition is 99 cents throughout October for a special Halloween promotion.
When teen psychic Dawn Christian gets involved with a fortuneteller mentor and two girls who share her mysterious talents, she finally belongs after years of being a misfit. When she learns her new friends may be tied to freak “accidents” in town, Dawn has an important choice to make – continue developing the talent that makes her special or challenge the only people who have ever accepted her.
Dawn dug her fingernails into the seatbelt as Candace drove through Covington Center. Maybe she should forget the whole thing. What if she wasn’t good enough for Serina? What if Candace and her friends were into weird stuff? Dawn eyed a pewter dragon dangling from the rearview mirror. Bells tinkled on its curved serpentine tail at every stop light and turn.
Who the heck attached dragons to their mirrors? No one Dawn knew, that was for sure.
"What’s up?" Candace asked.
"I was just noticing how neat your car is," Dawn said. She wasn’t lying, exactly. The Chevy’s spotless interior had surprised her, after riding in Ken’s mess on wheels.
"I have to be neat or my psychic abilities go on the fritz. Organization unclogs the drains in your life. Serina says you need outside order to support inner order."
"Really?" Dawn thought of all the storage baskets and shelves in her bedroom. Had she been acting out that principle subconsciously?
As Candace parked in a driveway, Dawn gaped out the window at the cream cottage she had seen the first day of school. The cottage had spoken to her, sending out warning vibrations. She shouldn’t go in there. She really shouldn’t.
Dawn regretted texting her mother that she was staying for extra help. No one knew who she was with, or where she was.
"This is where Serina lives?" she blurted out.
"It gave me bad vibes the first time I passed it."
Candace shrugged. "I wouldn’t worry. You could have been picking up vibrations from the last people who lived here. It could’ve been from Serina, too. She’s had a tough life and sometimes bad memories linger. When you have abilities like ours, it’s easy to jump to conclusions. Serina can teach you to look deeper."
Reluctantly, Dawn closed her car door. Veined yellow leaves stormed down from the birches, gliding across the grass. The wind, the ocean, the smell of salt water, everything seemed magnified.
They trudged up the stone walkway and mounted the porch steps. Dawn examined the hand-painted sign she’d missed from the road: "Psychic Readings Here. Call 555-3990 for appointment."
Candace pressed the doorbell. Shaking off her fears, Dawn pulled a lavender brochure out of a basket on a wicker end table. She skimmed the headings. Serina did tarot, palm readings, meditation sessions and past life regressions.
The door swung open and Dawn blinked at the lanky girl in front of her. She reminded Dawn of a scarecrow, skinny arms and legs hanging out of her clothes.
The girl adjusted her baggy sweater, the fabric slipping down her shoulder. Acne blotches reddened her chin and oily brown hair straggled from a rubber band at the top of her head. "Hi, I'm Jamie. Come on in."
Dawn stepped into a narrow foyer, sniffing the sweet scent of burning incense. A strange sensation overcame her, as if a powerful presence inhabited this house. Dawn grasped the banister, reeling from the impact of whatever invisible force sheathed the air. She gauged how the sensation made her feel. Uncomfortable and a little sad.
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Bio: Although Stacy Juba specializes in writing adult novels, she has also authored books for children and young adults – she pursues whatever story ideas won’t leave her alone. Stacy’s titles include the Amazon bestselling adult mystery novels Twenty-Five Years Ago Today and Sink or Swim, the mystery short story Laundry Day, the children’s picture books The Flag Keeper and Victoria Rose and the Big Bad Noise, and the young adult novels Face-Off and Dark Before Dawn. Visit her web site at http://www.stacyjuba.com.