Read the FIRST TWO CHAPTERS of FATHOMS BELOW by Laura Holt! ( + Giveaway!)

Welcome to Magic, Myth, & Mischief in celebration 
of fairy tales, mythology, and fantastic beasts of lore such as dragons, fae, mermaids, and unicorns!
Join our celebration daily at A Backwards Story and That Artsy Reader Girl!
Check out our daily schedule of events at ABS and TARG!
Stop back all week long for fun author interviews, exciting giveaways, reviews,
and more!
Twitter | Instagram | YouTube  
Join the fun by adding your own links here!
Enter the BIG giveaway here!!!
Instagram Challenge!

Hey Bookworms!

Today, we have a special treat for you!

Laura Holt has stopped by to share the prologue and first chapter from her novel FATHOMS BELOW with you. She also has a SPECIAL GIVEAWAY where you can win an ebook copy of the novel! (And of course, you can win in the ongoing event giveaway as well, so you have two chances!)

Are you ready to find out if fairy tales and Greek mythology are actually real!?

Excerpt From:

Fathoms Below
By Laura Holt

The Accident

He watched her, just like he had every other day of her life, just like he had watched her mother and her grandmother and her great-grandmother and her great-great-grandmother, all the way back to the first of her line.
It was impossible to look away, though he had tried before. Sometimes, his responsibilities carried him to other corners of the Earth that did not have her in them, and for a while, it was easier to breathe, to fall back into the comfortable routine of who he had been before she was born. Weeks passed into months, and months turned into years. Yet in the end, he could not stay away forever. She was his heart, his soul, his reason for existing, and like a bird that migrates in the winter then returns to its nest in the spring, he always came back. He always found her again, and he always would, even if this, watching from a distance, was as close to her as he could ever get without raising the wrath of those more powerful than him.
It was worth the risk.
Life would have been empty otherwise.
She was as beautiful as he remembered, with her chestnut hair blowing back in the breeze. Her skin shone a natural bronze beneath the sun, and her brown eyes twinkled in a face made up of high cheekbones, a patrician nose, and lips that were a few shades lighter than a rose.
He heard her laugh, like music, from where she sat atop her steed. The sound rippled through him from the top of his head all the way down to the bottoms of his winged feet where they hung over the edge of the fluffy cumulus below, swinging idly in the gentle breeze.
It was always like this, with her riding or swimming or reading a book while she lay in a pink plastic lounge chair on the beach and him watching from above, memorizing everything about her that he could until the last waves of summer rolled out to sea. Then she would drive away with her mother in their old red Jeep, leaving him alone to return to his duties.
He would have given anything to be able to talk to her, to have her look at him the way he had spent so long looking at her. To hold her hand as they walked down the beach collecting shells or to share a plate of sushi with her at her favorite pier front restaurant.
But he couldn’t. The laws of his people strictly forbid communicating with mortals, and even he wasn’t fool enough to go against them completely.
So he was content to watch her, to imagine sometimes when she stared out at the horizon, lost in a daydream, that she could see him and liked what she saw, and to secretly dream of a day when he and his kind would be able to return freely to the Earth once more.
“Come on, Alexander.”
Her voice floated up to him from the beach below, audible despite the crashing of the waves and the gulls flying overhead, as she spoke to the horse.
“Let’s go, giddy-up!”
The horse broke into an immediate gallop, as if this was what it had been waiting for, and perhaps it was. Even if not, he mused, they made a breathtaking picture, racing across the sand. The muscles in their legs bunched as they moved in sync with one another.
For a moment, he was in another time, in another place, watching a different dark-haired beauty dressed in battle armor charge across the desert sands. A loud cry roared on her lips as a thousand warriors followed her to their deaths. He could smell the blood and the sweat that filled the air when they reached one another; he could hear the thundering clash of their armor and taste the dryness of the landscape on his tongue.
Then, the memory cleared, bringing him back to the present, and it was just him, watching her, the only one he had ever allowed himself to get this close to, and, as such, the only one he had ever loved.
As they reached the nature path that led up into the small chain of palm tree-studded cliffs lining the coast, she shifted her weight to the left, and the horse responded. Veering to the side, steed and rider raced up it, competing against an invisible foe for first place.
The animal’s hooves thundered over the ground, heavy enough that he could almost feel the vibrations from his high vantage point. Its pink nostrils snorted heated breath. His heart seemed to be beating in time to the rhythm of its footsteps, as if it were him in the saddle, not her. Every breath she took seemed to be one of his own, and he bit his lip to keep from singing out in joy.
It was amazing. She was amazing.
They were near the top of the trail already. Sweat glistened on the horse’s flanks and on her skin, making the white T-shirt she wore cling to her chest and back. As they neared the sign that read Bicycles and Hikers Only from This Point, she pulled back on the reins to slow the horse, to turn it around.
He saw the snake before she did.
It was a Pelamis platura, a sea snake. The yellow markings on its belly gave it away. Seeing it, she jerked hard on the reins, steering the horse to the side, and it started to turn. But it was too late.
The snake hissed, coiled, and lunged all in one quick, deadly stroke, and the horse reared. The snake’s deadly fangs sank into its soft underbelly. Eyes rolling, it bucked, letting out a frightened, pain-filled whinny, and someone screamed as she flew from the saddle and over the small metal railing toward the reef below.
Later, he would realize it was him.
Now, all that mattered was saving her.
He was halfway to her before he even knew that he was moving, his arms outstretched and his wings flapping so fast that they were naught but a blur. He hit the water hard, making a splash large enough that it must have looked like a rogue wave. The salty froth slapped him in the face, filling his mouth with its bitter, acrid taste.
He spit it out as he surfaced, breathed, then kept going, focused only on her as she careened toward the rocks surrounding the reef bed.
She hit the rocks with all the force of a tsunami, slamming into them so hard that he felt the impact in his chest. He heard a snap as one struck her arm, breaking it, and she screamed.
The sound was so loud that it hurt his ears, making him want to stop and put his hands over them instead of continuing toward her. But there was no one to hear her except him, no one around to save her except him. So grinding his teeth together, he pushed forward, kicking his feathered feet that much harder.
A wave crashed into her from behind, knocking her forward, and instinctively, she held her broken arm to her chest. Yet there was nothing to shield her face with.
He saw as she saw the reef, a large, pinkish-white mass of coral coming at her. Its deadly sharp barbs were heading straight for her face, and his eyes widened in fear as she squeezed hers shut.
It happened faster than he could have imagined.
With a sickening crack, the first edge of the reef struck her in the face, and he heard her nose give.
The next one hit her in the jaw, knocking it out of place, and he imagined the searing pain like a burning flame as it tore across her cheek. She would later learn that it was her skin being ripped off, he knew. However, for now, she was thankfully oblivious.
The third hit her cheekbone, right below her eye, and blood flooded the water, staining it red.
He coughed on it, choked on it. The taste was so much sweeter, so much more compelling than the salt of the sea that it reminded him of the ritualistic sacrifices of old.
After a hunt, before a battle, during times of pestilence, famine, or celebration, at the change of the seasons, and every year during the harvest, the ancient Greeks had offered up their finest livestock to him and his family along with hymns and prayers, hoping to gain their favor and to offer thanks for their blessings. But those practices had stopped ages ago, when the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great converted the country to Christianity.
Now, he was beside her, wrapping his arms around her, and holding her closer than he’d ever dared to dream that he would. Lifting her head above the surface, he propelled them toward the shore.
Reaching the sand, he put his feet down and stood. Instantly, two sharp, dagger-like pains shot up from where his heels touched the earth to his thighs, making his knees quake.
He ignored them, though it was difficult, and half dragging her behind him, he carried her onto the dry sand. After laying her down as gently as he could, he fell to his knees beside her and put his ear to her chest.
For a heartbreaking moment, he felt nothing, and a sob so great and powerful that it threatened to split him in two built up inside his throat. Then she sat up, gasping, and he fell back onto the heels of his hands in surprise.
Her right eye was bruised shut. The other one was open wide, and she shook, from cold, from fear, from too much adrenaline, as water dripped from the ends of her hair down into her face.
For a minute, they sat there, staring at one another. He was too frozen in relief that she was alive to move, while she was seeing him for the first time. He could only imagine what it was that she saw.
A narrow, stunningly handsome face, its perfection marred only by a slightly hooked nose. Pale skin with a faint silver hue that made him appear to ripple and gleam in the sunlight.
Muscles, rippling down a broad chest and arms laced with bright gold veins. Silver hair that fell choppily into glaring, stormy silver eyes that were too bright to be human. Bare legs that protruded out from beneath the short, golden toga he was wearing and ended in human feet with small white wings growing out of the backs of them.
As he watched her, she gaped at him, her mouth dropping open at the sight of his winged feet, and he had a small moment to be embarrassed, to flush the color of the sun. Opening his mouth, he started to explain, to tell her who he was and how he had come to be here with her.
But before he could speak, he heard it, the low, familiar harpsichord call of home, and his heart leaped into his throat, stopping the words before they could reach his tongue.
Without giving her time to protest or move away, he grabbed her face, doing his best to ignore how soft her skin was to the touch even in its tattered state, and closed his eyes in concentration. Almost immediately, the divine power in his blood flowed out of his fingertips into her, just a trickle at first and then a steady flow.
He felt her skin heal as it regrew over her bones, felt her jaw pop back into place and her blood evaporate into the atmosphere as if it had never been there at all. As quickly as it had begun, it was over, so quickly it almost seemed to not have happened. Only it had.
She was living proof of that, and now, there would be no going back. Not ever.
When he opened his eyes again, he met her gaze. His expression was serious. “Listen to me, please. We do not have much time, and it is of supreme importance that you do exactly as I say, for both of our sakes.”
She nodded, wide-eyed, as if she did not know what else to do but agree. He could feel her terrified pulse racing beneath his fingertips and hated it, hated that she was afraid of him, that he did not have the time to explain who and what he was. But he leaned closer anyway, the tips of his silvery hair brushing the tops of her shoulders.
“You had an accident. You fell off your horse into a coral reef, and I saved you. I healed you. But you will not remember anything, not the accident, not seeing me, my powers, or being saved. You will repress it all, until the time comes for you to remember. Do you understand?”
This time, there was no need for her to reply. Already he could feel her calming as the threads of his hypnosis ran through her, and he lowered his voice to a more comforting tone. “Good. Now, I want you to lie down and go to sleep. Someone will find you and take you to a hospital soon, I promise.”
She spoke for the first time since waking.
Her voice was so sweet this close up that he ached to hear it again, to sit here with her all day as the sun rose higher in the sky and warmed their skin, dried their hair and clothes, to stay with her forever. But he couldn’t.
Already the call coming from the heavens was getting louder. If he lingered any longer, someone would come looking for him. So pushing her gently back down, he waited until her eyes were closed again and her breathing had evened before getting to his feet.
One agonizing step at a time, he backed away from her, committing everything about her in that moment to memory. No matter how bad he wanted to, it wouldn’t be safe for him to risk watching her again this summer, and after this accident, who knew when she would come back here, if ever?
Plus, with his ever-pending duties to take care of upon returning home, it would be months, perhaps years, before he was even able to return to this lower realm.
A loud note, like the strum of a harp, reverberated through the clouds, cutting off his train of thought and striking his heart as he reached the shoreline. Taking a deep breath, he spun away. His hair surrounding his head like a silver halo, he launched from the ground with one powerful flap of his wings and disappeared back into the clouds above.

Chapter 1
The Meeting

Three years later

Books said that falling in love was like being hit over the head with a sledgehammer. That the instant you saw the one person on the planet that you were meant to be with, you would know it, and by knowing, you would be awakened to some new reality of self and life.
Movies depicted it as a mixture of one’s emotions, as if any one person could be sick yet not mortally wounded, high one second and low the next, starving without being hungry, and hot, cold, happy, sad, terrified, and excited all at once.
Her Aunt Rhoda believed it was a gradual thing. That a person could only truly love another person after spending time with them, getting to know the person’s true self, and accepting him or her for whomever or whatever the person might be.
Her mother insisted that it was immediate. There were no warning signs, no time to think about it or weigh your options. One second, you were walking alone on the sidewalk minding your own business. The next it was as if you had fallen from the high dive at the public pool onto a crazy, heart-stopping, roller coaster ride full of twists, turns, and loop the loops that would end as suddenly as it had begun.
When Cather Stevens shook from the impact and heard the crunch of metal on metal that was undoubtedly some redneck idiot’s pickup truck tearing into her car’s bumper, however, she didn’t feel any of those things.
All she felt was mad.
Punching off the music of Devilish Delilahs, her best friend Abi’s band, which had been blaring out of the stereo, she grabbed the wheel with both hands and turned, hard. Thankfully, the tires responded, carrying her safely to the side of the curb instead of into the grassy ditch below. Putting the gear shift in park, she kicked open the door and got out to assess the damage.
What was left of her beautiful candy apple red Bug stared back at her, a heaping, smoking mess of metal and plastic. Its round back end was now unrecognizable, the trunk crushed in like a discarded soda can.
For a minute, she started to cry at the sight of all her hard work—hours spent babysitting her neighbors’ unholy twin terrors, cutting grass for five bucks a lawn, and selling homemade lemonade in the sweltering Georgia heat—reduced to a useless pile of scrap so easily and quickly. Then she heard another door slam, followed by the sound of footsteps jogging toward her. Her tears dried before they could fall. She spun around to face the person responsible for this tragedy.
She had time to register that he was a boy, but not a redneck judging by his designer jeans and the gray sweater that was at least twenty degrees too hot for this kind of weather. He looked to be about her age, maybe a few years older. It was hard to tell because he was hunching. She didn’t recognize him, which was almost unheard of for a two thousand population hole-in-the-road town like Hawkinsville, and she stared at him for a heartbeat, her eyes wider than usual. Then he spoke.
“Hey, are you okay?”
Instead of setting her at ease, like it probably had countless other girls, the deep velvet timbre of his tone enraged her further. So did his sweeping mop of ash-blond hair, which didn’t look any worse for wear despite the wreck, and his flushed, white cheeks. She glared at him, seething.
“Am I okay? Am I okay? Does anything about this situation strike you as being anywhere in the region of okay?”
She practically shouted it. Her Southern accent came out more heavily, the way it always did when she was aggravated or upset, and he took a step back from her, his gray eyes widening in surprise.
His hands had been outstretched, maybe to grab her and check her for injuries, she wasn’t sure, and he held them up in front of him for a second, as if suddenly unsure what to do with them. Then he dropped them, so that they hit the sides of his thighs with quiet thuds, and stared at her in confusion. “I’m sorry. Please, I did not mean to upset you. I just wanted to make sure you were all right. I hit you pretty hard.”
“You can say that again!” she exclaimed, gesturing toward her ruined car with a dramatic sweep of her hand. “Just look at what you did to my car! What, do they not have stop signs where you’re from or something?”
“Of course they do,” he answered, straightening his shoulders. “I just didn’t see this one is all. It’s my first day in town, so I am not familiar with the roads yet.”
“Yeah, well, this was my first time ever driving this car, which was also coincidentally my first car, and I worked all summer to pay for it. Now, I’m not even going to get to enjoy it! I sure hope you have insurance, bud, or else you and whoever else you moved here with are going to be in for a world of hurt.”
“My grandparents,” he replied in a tone as stiff as a frost-covered pine tree in winter. “And yes, we have insurance. Wait here. I’ll get you the card.”
Turning away, he jogged back toward what she’d thought had been a pickup, but was actually a black Hummer. Much to her chagrin, it didn’t even have so much as a scrape on its shiny chrome grill, and she bit her tongue to hold back all the insults she wanted to shout at him.
Like loser, stupid head, butthole, jerk.
He climbed halfway into the cab and rummaged around in the glove box, his shoes hanging out over the side. They were sneakers, nice sneakers, and the bottoms of them were caked in mud, as if he’d been walking down by the river or in the trees behind her house.
The mid-August sun hovered overhead, making the pavement of the deserted road seem to shimmer like waves on the ocean. By the time he returned, she was sweating. Her long fitted white T-shirt and the jean shorts she wore under it stuck uncomfortably to her skinny cheerleader’s body.
“Here you go.”
He held out the small, laminated rectangle that was decorated in the red and white colors of Hawkinsville’s only insurance agency. She snatched it from him, not even bothering to be polite.
“Great. Although, we both could have done without all this if you had been paying more attention to where you were going.”
“Yes, I realize that.” His flush deepened as he ducked his head in an aw-shucks move. “And I truly am sorry. The insurance will cover the repairs needed to fix your car since I was at fault, though, so you should not have any problems there. I’m glad you’re not hurt.”
He met her gaze then, looking out from under long, thick lashes the same color as his hair, and she realized with a shock that his eyes weren’t just gray. They were silver, like brand new shiny quarter silver.
They were so bright and clear that it was like she was looking up into the sky overhead instead of straight at him. She could almost smell what the wind would smell like that high, like rain, sunshine, and pollen-tossed nebulous all mixed with the ever-present scent of red Georgia clay. The effect was dizzying, disorienting, and she had to blink twice before she realized he was waiting for her to respond.
“Thanks.” She said it automatically. Not because she necessarily thought he deserved a thank you, since he’d totaled her most prized possession, but because it was all she could think of, and because, angry or not, good manners had been impressed upon her since the day she was born.
Most of the time her tempestuous, independent nature controlled her tongue, so that she gave flippant, sarcastically humorous responses to almost everything. However, at other times, like now, her upbringing would take over and she would speak as if on autopilot, barely aware of what she was saying.
“You’re welcome.” He smiled, the first time she’d seen him do it. The movement smoothed out the worry lines crinkled at the edges of his eyes. It made them look that much brighter, and she blinked again, dazzled. “Can I give you a ride somewhere?”
Just like that, the hypnosis or spell or whatever it was that had been holding her in place like two pieces of bread on a peanut butter sandwich evaporated, and she shook her head.
“No, thanks. I’ll call for a ride with someone whose driving I actually trust.”
“Ouch.” He put his hand to his heart as if wounded, and then winked at her frown. “Don’t worry. I understand. You don’t know me yet, and you are right to be cautious. But you will. In fact…” He lifted a finger as if making a premonition. His gray eyes smoldered like hot, fresh coals as they stared into hers. “I have the feeling that you and I are going to become really good friends.”
Her stomach flip-flopped, making her throat dry. Not wanting to let him see how much he was affecting her, she swallowed to eliminate the dryness as she put one hand on her hip.
“Yeah, well, seeing as how I could have done without meeting you at all since doing so cost me my new car, I would not count on it.”
Her voice was a dry drawl, meant to dissuade him from pursuing her further. But either he was immune to her charms, or she was more shaken from the accident than she realized, making her temporarily off her game, because it didn’t work.
He smirked. A tiny light danced in the pupils of his eyes, as if he knew something that she didn’t about them and their future, and Cather had to bite her tongue against the urge to ask him what it was.
If there was one thing she couldn’t stand, it was a lack of knowledge. Knowledge was safety, because if you knew everything that you needed to know, then nothing, and no one, could ever get the better of you. But she doubted that this boy had any kind of real information about their future. More likely, he was being facetious, which was another thing that she couldn’t stand, especially when the guy being facetious was too attractive for his own good.
“If you say so.” Without even having to grab onto the door handle for purchase although the cab was at least a foot off the ground, he hopped into the Hummer and closed the door. Cranking the engine, he propped one arm on the open window and tipped an imaginary hat at her. “See you around.”
Flooring the accelerator, he pulled around and away with a monstrous roar of exhaust, and she coughed, fanning the pollution away from her face.
“Don’t count on it.”
Muttering, she plodded over to what was left of her hard work and pulled her cell phone out of her purse. Thankfully, the thick leather pockets of the blue bag and the bedazzled gold cover had protected it during the crash. She opened the home screen with a brush of her finger and hit dial.
Normally, she would have called her mother, who would have come right away, screeching up at ten over the speed limit in her door-less red Jeep. She would be filled with love, concern, and laughter, and would quip anecdotes about how this experience could be another life lesson. But it was only five thirty, and her mom didn’t get off work until nine.
So, she called Abi instead.
“Yo, girlfriend, what’s up?”
Her best friend’s cheerful, smooth molasses voice crawled through the phone into her ear. She relaxed at the familiar sound despite the wrecked hunk of junk next to her.
“Actually, it’s kind of a nine-one-one. Can you come get me? I had a wreck out on the Columbus Highway and my car isn’t drivable at the moment.”
Abigail Brickwood’s care free demeanor changed to serious in less time than it took her to take a breath. “You had a wreck? Are you for real? Cath, are you okay?”
“Yes, yes, and yes to all of the above,” Cather replied, kicking the deflated wheel of her Bug. “Although I wish I could say the same for my car.”
“Is it totaled?”
Cather blew a stray strand of hair that had slipped out of her ponytail back off her forehead. “Yeah, it’s totaled. I’ll call a tow truck while I wait, but get here soon, okay? I’m melting out here.”
“Say no more. I’m heading out the door right now.”
Abi’s enormous key ring, which was home to more than a dozen keys, several giga pets left over from middle school, a miniature wishing troll with a yellow jewel in place of a belly button, and a can of pepper spray, jingled as if to support this claim.
“See you in a few.”
“See you in a few.”
Ending the call, she scrolled through her contacts list until she came to the one marked Billy Lloyd’s Wrecker Service. At the time, it had seemed silly when her mom insisted she put the number in her phone before taking her car out onto the road. Now, however, she was thankful for her mom’s foresight. She clicked on it, and lifted the phone back to her ear.
A gruff male voice picked up on the fourth ring. “Lloyd’s Wrecker Service.”
“Hey, Mr. Lloyd, it’s Cather Stevens. Listen, I just wrecked my car out on the Columbus Highway, right past the Bentons’ house. Can you come get it please?”
“Sure thing, Cather. Have you called your mom yet?”
“No, sir, not yet. She’s at work until nine. But Abi’s coming to pick me up, so I’ll be fine until she gets home.”
“All righty then, I’ll be there as soon as I can.”
“Okay, thank you.”
She hung up again, shoving the phone into her back pocket with a sigh, and she leaned back against the remains of her car, trying not to put too much weight on it lest it fall apart. The Bentons’ cows mooed on the other side of the fence across the road, and somewhere up on Broad Street a diesel truck honked its horn.
Closing her eyes, she arched her neck, stretching her muscles so that she could feel the last of the day’s sun on her face. She could see how the sky would look without having to open her eyes. Full of pink and purple cotton candy clouds against a growing golden dusk that would be dotted here and there with a scattering of tiny sparrows returning to their nests to roost for the night. Despite the negative turn her day had taken, the image comforted her, and for a moment she was able to breathe a little easier.
Then the image changed, replaced by the brilliant silver eyes of the boy who had hit her, and her heart skipped a beat. She had never, in all seventeen and a half years of her life, seen someone with eyes like that, and wondered where he was from. He hadn’t said, and she made a mental note to ask him about it if she ever saw him again. Not that she probably would. A guy who dressed like he did would never go to a public high school unless he had no other choice, and something told her that this boy had nothing if not plenty of options.
But against her better reasoning, she realized that she wanted to see him again, and a thrill of excitement mixed with fear ran up her spine. She shivered, even though the heat rising off the road was hot enough to fry an egg. It made no sense, of course, for her to feel that way. The women in her family had terrible luck with men, and she was no different.
Justin, the only boy she’d ever had the courage to date, had proved that when he cheated on her six months ago with a girl in their class. She supposed she should have seen it coming, what with the way he was always flirting with the other girls on the cheerleading squad. But still, his betrayal had hurt. In fact, it still hurt, especially whenever she saw him and his new squeeze together. It was why she was so standoffish toward guys, why she hid her true feelings and vulnerabilities behind a pretty but prickly exterior, so that they wouldn’t want to date her and she wouldn’t have to go through all the pain of losing someone else again. Only for some reason, that game plan hadn’t worked on the guy who’d totaled her car, and now, here she was, fighting to control her attraction to him in order to save her heart, mind, soul, and sanity.
However, the boy who had hit her Bug presented an intriguing enigma that begged to be uncovered. And the more she thought about him, the more questions bounced through her head. Why would someone like him move to a little country town like Hawkinsville? If he was going to a private school like she suspected he would be, why not stay in Pineview or Perry?
What had he been doing out here on the highway at this time of day? Did he live out this way? She didn’t think so, but only because he didn’t strike her as a country boy. He looked more like the type to live in a gated subdivision where you had to have a residential keycard to get in or out. Of all the cars he could have owned, why had he chosen a Hummer instead of a smaller, faster sports car like the rest of the rich kids around here? Did he come from somewhere that safety was a constant issue? Or was it simply because a Hummer was rarer and more expensive than a sports car? And what had he meant when he had said, “I have the feeling that you and I are going to become really good friends?” Was he just trying to be cryptic? Or was he really planning on getting to know her better, and if so, why?
She had to know. The aspiring sleuth inside of her demanded it, and she knew herself well enough to know that she wasn’t going be able to stop thinking about him, or their untimely meeting, until she did.
The only question was how she was going to do that without falling for him in the process. Her stomach gave a strange flutter as she remembered the way he’d smiled at her, as if she was the only person in a thousand miles that he could see.
Never mind that they were standing on a stretch of open abandoned country road and the closest life-form around was a herd of cattle. It had still taken her breath away, made her blood pressure go up several dozen degrees, and if she hadn’t already been on her guard because of the wreck, she might’ve accepted his offer of a ride without pausing to think the decision through.
It was unlike her to fall prey to a boy’s charms so quickly and easily, no matter how cute said boy was. Even Justin, with his football player physique and perfect complexion, had been forced to pursue her for several months before she agreed to go out with him. If she hadn’t known any better, she would have thought that she had met the boy somewhere before, that they had some kind of history between them that explained her reaction to him. However, she was positive that she had never seen him, or anyone else like him, before in her life. If she had, she was sure that she would have remembered.
Being rear-ended must have scrambled her brain, making her more vulnerable to the emotions that she tried so hard to stamp down in the back of her mind where they belonged. It was the only explanation she could think of, or at least the only one that didn’t make her sound crazy.
Maybe the next time she saw the boy, if she saw him, she would be immune to his strange but compelling allure. Maybe she wouldn’t even notice him at all if they passed one another on the street somewhere. It was possible, especially considering her aversion to romantic love, if not probable. But a small, quiet voice inside her head that sounded like the boy’s whispered it was not going to happen.
Something about him had caught her attention today, caught it and held it, and she had the unshakeable feeling that no matter how hard she tried not to do it, no matter how many times she told herself it was a bad idea because a relationship with a guy like him would only end in tears. Falling in love with him would be all too easy.
Sighing, she opened her eyes again. Ever observant, she noticed the strange swirl of dark storm clouds on the horizon that didn’t match the picture her imagination had conjured, and she sent up a quick prayer that the rain would hold off until she got home. Then pulling out the Nancy Drew book she was reading,—The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene—from the big center pouch of her purse, she sat on the grass to read while she waited for Abi. Finding the place she’d marked with a long piece of red ribbon, she did her best to focus on the words on the page and not the ones the boy had said to her in parting.
See you around.

Five minutes into the chapter, she realized that she hadn’t even asked him his name.

O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Laura Holt
Release Date: Out Nov. 30, 2016
Publisher: The Book Patch


Cather Stevens doesn’t love. Not now, not ever. 

She has spent her entire life watching love ruin her mother, her aunts, her cousins, her grandmother, and she made a vow a long time ago that she would never let that happen to her. But when she meets a winged boy named Hermes who tells her that she is the key to ending the star crossed curse that has plagued the women in her family for centuries, she will have to redefine everything she knows about love, life, and herself. 

With more than just her own heart on the line, she must find the location of her great-great grandmother’s diary. It was hidden long ago, fathoms below her town, and holds the answers to all of her questions, especially one: are the fairy tales and Greek myths that she grew up hearing actually fiction like she was taught to believe, or are they something more…something real? 



You could win an e-book copy of FATHOMS BELOW!

This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL to any country that Book Depository ships to.  You can also claim an e-book as a prize; it doesn't have to be a physical copy!

You must be at least 13 years old to enter or have a parent's permission!