Seventh Mark – Part 1 (Hidden Secrets #1)
by W.J. May
Cover design by: Book Cover by Design
Edits by: Regina Mitchell
Book III – Marked by Destiny Coming 2014
Book IV – Compelled Coming 2015
Like most teenagers, Rouge is trying to figure out who she is and what she wants to be. With little knowledge about her past, she has questions but has never tried to find the answers. Everything changes when she befriends a strangely intoxicating family. Siblings Grace and Michael, appear to have secrets which seem connected to Rouge. Her hunch is confirmed when a horrible incident occurs at an outdoor party. Rouge may be the only one who can find the answer.
An ancient journal, a Sioghra necklace and a special mark force life-altering decisions for a girl who grew up unprepared to fight for her life or others.
All secrets have a cost and Rouge’s determination to find the truth can only lead to trouble…or something even more sinister.
*Warning: This book will end on a cliffhanger. Book 2 picks up where this book ends.*
Copyright 2013 by W.J. May
Ear buds stuffed in, I cranked the volume on my iPod and clicked my exercise shuffle. I jogged down the gravel driveway and turned to follow the last bit of sunset. If only I could draw or paint…
Crossing an intersection, I headed left and let my legs carry me away from the small houses, run-down yards, cracked door screens and broken-down cars into a block of bigger houses. The lawns rolled further away from the sidewalk and the houses grew farther apart. Maybe one day I’ll buy a place like this. I snorted at the thought.
Even though I’d never admit it to anyone, a part of me is cursed. Like poison running through my veins, I’ve always believed it would catch up with me. I didn’t know the whys or how’s, but deep down it seemed inevitable.
Except now fate intervened, and for once in my life, thank goodness. If it hadn’t, I wouldn’t be here, in this awesome place on the other side of the country. The whole curse thing was probably just in my head.
I gazed straight in front, between the old giant trees lining the roads. The jagged pink and white peaks reflected snow from the remains of the setting sun made me appreciate the beauty of nature. West coast, oh yeah! I smiled, unable to keep the giddiness inside. I’d lived all my life in Niagara Falls, but this—words couldn’t begin to describe this beauty.
Inhaling real fresh pine scent, not the kind from cleaning agents from the past two days, I savoured the moment. If Family and Children Services hadn’t approved Jim and Sally’s request, I wouldn’t be seeing real mountains for the first time. As quick as the bubble came up, it burst.
Next January I’d be eighteen and no longer at the benefit of the government. Jim and Sally were decent foster parents, but they also made it clear they couldn’t afford to help me with college. I quickened my pace. I didn’t want to think about where I might be in a year.
You’ll be on your own…no family. Nothing. Unwanted again. The imaginary little devil on my left shoulder laughed at me.
Music shouted in my ear, “You’re supposed to be alone. Alone…lone…lone…” I glanced at my left shoulder and pretended to flick the imaginary devil off, nearly crashing into the old high-stoned wall lining the neighborhood. Regaining my balance and focus, I pulled the iPod out of my pocket and skipped to the next song.
Street lights flickered on. My eyes had grown accustomed to the darkness without even letting my brain know. I should turn around before it’s completely black. Didn’t want to be out on my own when I barely knew the area.
A gap ahead in the high wall caught my attention. Curiosity won. Instead of heading back, I pushed forward. A public park entrance came into view. Heavy black iron gates led me onto a smooth paved entrance. A large raised garden split the road in two.
A plaque set into the garden’s stone wall made me smile. End of an Era. From the raised stones peeking behind the garden flowers, this was a cemetery, not a park. The owner obviously had a sense of humor along with the desire to create one of those resting places with a welcome. A twenty-something looking woman whizzed by on roller blades, waving as she passed.
The pathways were lit up with those new solar green energy lights. I took the first lane along the outer border and slowed my pace. The tall slate and marble gravestones were erected on the left side with an ancient forest lining the right. As I jogged, I passed through a part of the cemetery that must’ve been the original lot with worn-down, ancient-looking stones. I paused or weaved between the stones to read the odd one: “1886 John Hartzel — 18 years of age, 1892 Patrick O’Reilly — died too young, Tammy Fortune 1802 -1822.” What’s with this place? Can’t come here if you’re over thirty?
Squinting, I jogged closer to a raised tombstone with a concrete angel resting on top. Using my hand, which carried my iPod, I rested it on the corner of the stone to steady myself. I leaned forward for a better look at the inscription. Poor thing, same age as the others. I straightened and pushed off to finish my run. The cord from my iPod snagged the angel’s head, yanking the buds from my ears—the iPod went flying from my hand.
“Crap!” I skidded to a stop on the damp grass and used my palms to hug my ears. It hurt like a bitch. I glanced up at the stone figurine and grimaced. Imagine trying to decapitate an angel. People were probably rolling in their graves right now.
Double crap! My iPod. It better not be busted. Night had fully descended, which didn’t work in my favor. I got down on my knees and began groping in the dark, futilely trying to scan the grass. The little solar lights were useless. “Of course, I had to buy the black case,” I mumbled and shook my head as I crawled to check under a nearby bench. Cobwebs caressed my face, which had me doing a karate twitch dance as I tried to knock off any possible spiders and remove the webs.
A twig snapped, followed by a muffled laugh.
I froze, waiting, tense, my head cocked to the side. It was dead quiet. As it should be in a cemetery. No noise. Not a sound.
“Dummy.” I got out from under the bench, sat up and brushed off my sweatshirt. It’d taken months to save for the iPod. I dropped down to search again clawing at chunks of grass. I’m not leaving till I find it, even if I have to swallow some hairy, icky spiders.
“You lose something?” A low, gruff voice broke through the dark. “Or are you digging your own grave?”
Seventh Mark part 2
Marked by Destiny
Wanita May grew up in the fruit belt of Ontario – St.Catharines. Crazy-happy childhood, she always has had a vivid imagination and loads of energy.
The youngest of six — four older brothers, and a sister — taught her at a young age to be competitive in all aspects of life.
At sixteen, she began competing in athletics (track and field) and before she turned seventeen, she was representing Canada in high jump. She continued to compete, breaking Canada’s JR High Jump record (1.92m – 6′ 3 1/2″ for those metric-ly challenged). She attended University of Toronto, and Kansas State University – winning CIAU’s and becoming All-American 6x – NCAA Indoors Runner Up + more.
But you’re not interested in her athletic career – unless of course you’re curious to know she stands 1.70m (5’7″) and has jumped 20cm over her head on more than one occassion. She’s represented Canada at the World Championships, World Jrs., won Francophone Games, and loved every minute of every competition. From the grueling workouts, the crazy weights she lifted on her back, the days she thought her lungs were going to spit out of her mouth for lack of oxygen, the travelling around the world and the opportunity to read – her favourite past time.
Life continued with her husband (a distance runner from Liverpool, UK, who she met at KSU) and then their first, then second and finally third child. Their house became full of more imagination and stories.
Wanita and her husband run an online business, dealing in antiques and collectables – particularly jewelry and porcelain (one of the business’ website: www.wadeincanada.com ).
After her father passed away in 2009, from a six-year battle with cancer (which she still believes he won the fight against), she began to write again. A passion she’d loved for years, but realized life was too short to keep putting it off.
Her first book, Rae of Hope – from the Chronicles of Kerrigan – will be available October 2011 by kNight Romance Publishing.
She is currently represented by Dawn Dowdle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency. Wanita is a writer of Young Adult, Fantasy Fiction and where ever else her little muses take her.
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