Today I’m hosting a spotlight for author Natalie Star. Her book is called The Keeper, and…well. I’ll let you read on…
The Keeper (Young Adult/Paranormal Romance/heat level 2), by Natalie Star
The morning of her sixteenth birthday, Billie feels blessed despite the reoccurring nightmare that wakes her. Loving parents, a caring boyfriend, and great friends surround her until an heirloom necklace throws her into a world she never imagined.
“Gifted” with supernatural powers and an unexpected destiny as the Keeper, Billie and a mysterious boy from her past must work together to find answers. But, as they begin to discover feelings for one another, he disappears leaving her to fight evil alone. Her life spirals out of control. She breaks up with her boyfriend, Tony, and alienates her best friends Arianna and Jocelyn to protect them from the truth.
As dark forces pursue her, Billie longs to run away from it all, yet a need to do what’s right compels her to face the future as the keeper of more than her own fortune.
“I have something special for you. Sit, I’ll go get it.” And before I knew it, she rushed down the hall.
“Hurry, Mom, I have to get to school!” I yelled after her. She was back in a flash. “Here, honey.” She handed me a long narrow velvet jewelry box, maroon in color, the coloring faded from age and use. I flipped back the lid and saw a gold chain with a charm hanging from it. Definitely nothing I would have handpicked, nice enough I guess, but it looked older than dirt itself. There was a yellowish gemstone, citrine I think, no larger than a nickel and it was set on top of a golden sunburst. She explained, “It’s been in our family for years. It’s been handed down from generation to generation on the sixteenth birthday.”
“Um, thank you. How old is it, and where did it come from?” I questioned because it even smelled old.
“No one in recent memory knows the answer to either question. We do know it is an honor to receive it, and you have to wear it for your whole birthday, no matter what,” Mom explained.
“Or what, I will have seven years bad luck?” I didn’t know what else to say.
“No, worse, a whole life of bad luck.” Mom said it so seriously.
“Well, if that isn’t convincing enough, put it on me!” I was not superstitious but why take chances?
I lifted my flat ironed hair out of the way, and Mom placed the chain around my neck. The second I heard it click into place, I felt funny, and I swear the jewelry’s temperature rose. I stood up in a state of a panic as it warmed and the heat spread from my neck throughout my body. Everything went white, and then pulled out.
“Billie!” Mom screamed.
“Do I want to know?” he asked uneasy.
“Probably not, so if you want to call it quits and go on with your life I would totally understand because all of what I have to tell you is unsettling and will be life changing. If you want out, now’s the time.” I waited.
I didn’t know I held my breath until Ty stopped walking. He kept his stare on the ground. “If you don’t tell me now, I will always wonder and probably regret not knowing because it seems important.”
“You need to be absolutely sure you want to know before I tell you. So think about it for a few minutes.” I had an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach for him.
He nodded, and we followed the overgrown trail for a while through curves and switchbacks. The path led through all kinds of trees and wild growth. Never have I seen such beauty in autumn. I could see yellows, oranges, and reds all around us. It would have been silent if it weren’t for the fluttering leaves and nuts falling from the trees, and our feet crunching over the dead vegetation on the ground. I stomped my feet, and I liked the noise it made. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. I put my arms out and spun in a circle while crunching. I felt giddy. I almost forgot where I was and why. Ty regarded me as if I’d lost my mind, which I probably had.
“What?” I asked as I spun past him.
“Just watching you.” He continued to watch with smiling eyes.
“It’s fun. You should try it.” I grabbed his hands because he wouldn’t come willingly, and we spun and spun until we were dizzy. We fell to the ground and lay there for a minute to catch our breath and get our heads straight.
I watched him. He seemed genuinely happy, and I felt genuinely crappy. Could I really take away his happy life and innocence? That’s exactly what I was about to do by unleashing the truth. I sat up.
He too sat up and looked toward me. “You okay?” He twirled a strand of my hair. I knew which bit of hair, too; the one that always curled away on its own.
I shook my head. “Not really. I don’t want to tell you. I thought I did, but now I’m not sure.”
“I don’t want you to tell me…not yet. First let’s have a few more minutes of normal.” He reached for my chin and tilted it toward him and pressed his lips to mine. We lay back in the leaves holding and kissing one another. We were consumed in each other’s sweet perfect kisses.
I pushed away from him and lay my head on his chest. He stroked my hair as we listened to the sounds of Mother Nature. I could hear his heartbeat, and it was calm and soothing. It didn’t match mine.
I jumped to my feet in a split second. I was on total alert. My heart pounded so loud I felt it in my ears.
“What’s going on?” Ty asked. Still on the ground where I was a second ago, he swiveled his head around.
“We’re done with normal.” I reached for my gem. Yep, cold but I didn’t need to feel it, I actually sensed it beforehand. I dropped a hand to help him up. He stared at it. “Ty, come on we don’t have time for this. I am stronger than you, much stronger, so this is why you need to get out of here.”
He took my hand. I pulled him to his feet. He gasped. With a peck on his cheek, I told him, “Go. Run.” But he stood there not moving. I saw and heard nothing. I closed my eyes and went into my mind to see what might come in the near future, and it wasn’t pretty.
“I might need to take my own advice and run.” I took Ty’s arm and dragged him along with me. It was too little, too late. We were surrounded.
“What can I do?” His voice crackled in fear. His head whipped around looking from one monster to the next. The creatures completely surrounded us. There was no way out, and they were hungry, hungry with a desire to kill. I could hear them in my head: kill.
“Try to stay alive,” I said. I felt sick to my stomach because I knew he wouldn’t make it through this.
Book Trailer on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8x0K05MHWA
Three years ago, if you told me one day I would love to read and write, I would have told you you were crazy-out-of-your-mind. Since then I have read 150+ books and written 2 complete novels (one of them being The Keeper) and I have 3 more in the works.
When I’m not reading or writing, I can be found with my husband supporting my two children on the soccer fields. Or maybe running around with my camera taking photos while camping and/or hiking. Or lastly, and most probable – I’m watching movies on Netflix while simultaneously perusing Facebook.
Our family resides in the state of Virginia along with our old-unintelligent-diabetic cat named Lucky.