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rattles outside my cell door. I’ve been lying here for a while, my
throat growing scratchier as the minutes tick by. “Who’s there?”
I call, but it only comes out as a croak.
open and Brutus—the guy who kidnapped me—steps in. Yeah, I gave
him a nickname. It’s my thing after all. A dim light shines on him
from behind. He looks bigger than before, if that’s even possible.
he says with a smile in his deep, resonating voice.
quickly enough, he grabs me by the arm, yanking me from the metal
cot. I bang my knee on a steel bar and barely find my feet before he
starts hauling me out of the room. At the end of the hall, we pass
through the storage room with the stairs that lead out to the alley.
that door though, but skirt through the storage room that’s lined
with shelves of canned goods. Between two of the tall shelves, we
stop at what looks like a cement wall. Brutus reaches behind some
canned peaches and flicks a switch. The cement wall screeches,
sliding open to reveal a long, black corridor.
darkness in that space stretches its inky fingers and wraps them
around my quivering heart. Like suffocating liana vines, squeezing
the life out of its host tree, the life leaches out of me just
thinking about what lies beyond this door.
in there.” I dig in my heels, pulling back.
his smile wide and his eyes crinkling in humor. His dark hair is
slicked back with gel. He looks more like a Mafioso each time I see
him. “You’ll be entertaining. You show such defiance! I almost
him, my fingers curl into fists. Next to him, I look like a pathetic
wolf pup rather than something fierce, but I want to hurt this guy.
“I’m not your toy.”
he says. “You won’t be. You’ll be the plaything of someone
Reluctant Guardian (Book 1)
Guarding Brecken Shaefer—a dark and dangerous rebel—is harder than it looks.
Death was nothing like sixteen-year-old Alisa Callahan thought it would be. Resting on pink, fluffy clouds for eternity with her gram and best friend sounded like a dream come true. After all, enduring one torturous experience after another in her short life deserved some kind of reward, right? Unfortunately, eternal rewards aren’t given out so freely when you take your own life.
Required to pay the debt for her actions, Alisa must become a guardian. It sounds easy enough, but not when the boy she is forced to protect has a dangerous secret and wants absolutely nothing to do with her.
Brecken Shaefer isn’t any normal teenager. He has special gifts that are sure to make Alisa’s afterlife miserable. When feelings develop between them, everything spins out of control. Not only must Alisa face her own demons— but to protect Brecken, she must face an evil so heinous that it threatens to destroy their souls completely.
Alisa is tired of hiding from her past. When the easiest thing to do is run, can Brecken give her the strength to stay?
The Elementalist (Book 2)
About the Author
Melissa Cunningham (also known as M.E. Cunningham) was born in Oregon but grew up in Utah, where she was raised on a steady diet of fine literature from Charlotte’s web to the The Trumpeter Swan, and then plenty of romances in her teen years. She now lives with her husband on a little farm in northern Utah where all she can see out of her back door is miles of pasture and stunning sunsets. Not only does she raise horses, dogs, cats, and chickens, but her five kids also. When Melissa is not writing you can find her spending time in the outdoors with her family or dancing wildly to rock music in her living room. She loves running, camping, and all things fiction—scary, mind-numbing stories preferred.
Connect with Melissa:
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