Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Hutchinson Publishing
Date of Publication: 10/20/2014
Number of pages: 200
Word Count: 60,000
Cover Artist: Andrea Garcia
Seraphina Cross is unexpectedly thrown into this crazy, spiritual world of Angels versus Demons. Never did she expect to meet Nate who was just a figment of her imagination until last week. Now she finds herself moving in with him because of her innate responsibility to protect her loved ones from harm.
Finally beginning to feel at home in her new house and with her new relationship. Nate begins training Sera in all that she can do, surprising even himself at times.
Just when she is starting to feel safe and powerful, the Devil finds a new way to attack her at her most vulnerable.
When her dreams are no longer a gift, can Sera control the powers needed to defeat what's coming before Lucifer fulfills his promise to her?
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/GFFT-_DAuZk
I’m walking along the long cliff in my new backyard, enjoying the gorgeous scenery. I’m basking in the sun, breathing in the fresh outdoor air, and feeling the wind whip my hair around my face. I look back at my new home behind me and sigh as my mind automatically thinks of Nate. I lie down in the grass, feeling the wind whipping around my hair and the grass grazing my legs ever so slightly. Again I let my mind wander to thoughts of wondering if I ever would have moved out of my parent’s house had it not been for Nate. What would my life have been like? Would I have stayed at the office until retirement in quiet misery? Breaking me out of my moment I think I hear someone shouting my name. I look around, but I’m alone here in my new backyard. Where is that noise coming from? I shrug my shoulders and try to continue my thought processes, but a part of me is still on alert. There it is again, my name, Sera! I finally climb to my feet and look through the glass wall of our house. Nate isn’t there. I must be imagining things.
Maybe my senses are just extra sensitive today. I begin to walk along the cliff and I hear it a little louder now. Sera! I glance out over the cliff and the winding river below that continues far into the distance. SERA! Finally my eyes lock on something in the river below, Nate.
What I’m not expecting is the hand that’s holding his head under water is big, clawed, and belongs to none other than Gabe. Gabe, the hunk from the office that tried to kill me only a few short days ago. His eyes are no longer green, they are all black and staring straight up at me like he’s tempting me to do something about it. He lifts Nate’s head back up as he tries to catch his breath while gulping down chunks of water. Nate’s arms are flailing around trying to grab onto something to defend himself, no to avail. “Sera!” he sputters out before Gabe shoves his head back down into the water. This time I know he’s not going to let him back up for air. He will kill him. There is no time, no thinking, Nate needs me. I extend my arms out like a bird’s wings, somewhere inside me I feel like I can fly. I dive off the cliff to help Nate. I open my eyes to see, it’s working! I have wings, big white glorious wings and… I’m flying! I think excitedly as my eyes lock on Gabe’s dark ones only instead of the fear I expect to see, he laughs at me. A strange, haunting laugh like he wanted this to happen.
I land on the ground hard before my eyes fly open. Nate is on top of me screaming words my mind can’t quite make out yet. I glance around in shock, I’m outside in the grass by the cliff. Stars are sparkling above me and in a stupor of confusion my mind is trying to make out what Nate is yelling.
“Sera! What were you doing? Tell me what was that?” his hands are shaking in anger.
“What?” I don’t seem to understand, “What happened?” I ask shaking my head as I begin to sit up.
“What do you mean? You were about to jump off the cliff!” he yells putting his hands on his head and paces back and forth in front of me.
“But, I was dreaming…” I try putting my thoughts together.
“Sera, I heard you walking past my office so I followed you out here and you were about to jump! I dived at you at the last minute and caught you just in time!” He states angrily waiting for an explanation.
I’m so confused. “I was dreaming you were in the river and I needed to save you, I was flying down to save you…it was a dream, at least I thought it was…” I rub my forehead.
Processing what I had just said with his silent angry face he finally softens and states, “Let’s get you back to bed,” before picking me up and carrying me back inside the house. By the time he’s climbing the stairs, I find myself nodding back off to sleep in his arms. I can feel him tucking me in and his footsteps trace back to the door. Suddenly I’m wide-awake, frightened that I could sleep walk again.
“Wait, Nate!” I softly yell.
“Yes?” he responds over his shoulder pausing in the doorway.
“Please don’t leave. I’m scared to go to sleep.” I admit quietly. He doesn’t have to respond I know he will stay. He probably wanted to anyway knowing his overprotective self. He walks back to the other side of the room, grabs the green chair from the corner, and pulls it up beside my bed. Leaning back he puts his feet up on the edge of the bed, I can’t tell if he’s sleeping or not but I feel better knowing that he’s there.
I roll over facing away from him as I try to close my eyes. Instead of drifting to sleep again, I find my mind wandering to how I could have walked all that way unconscious, what would have happened if I had jumped? How could this happen? Is this another gift? Or is it a curse? Unable to sleep, I roll back to face Nate. The moon is shining in through my window falling on Nate’s face. His eyes are closed and he looks so peaceful, but I know he’s not going to get any sleep tonight. I find myself wondering what I would do without him. Finally, unconsciousness finds me as I’m falling asleep wondering how I won the Angel lottery.
Guest Blog Post For Sheena Hutchinson
A Deleted Scene:
Sunday December 8th from Nate’s Point of View:
(The Awakening Chapter 7)
The next day Nathanael finds himself in his freshly handmade bathroom, looking at his own reflection in the mirror. His appearance looks the same, but he can tell the aura about him is different from when he was an Angel of the Lord. He can’t seem to come to grips with just how nervous he’s become, it feels as if his stomach is twisting in knots. Now fully understanding the human expression: butterflies in the stomach, because that is exactly what it feels like, a million wings fluttering around inside of him. It had taken him all day to figure out what to wear, he couldn’t seem to make a decision. It seems like he had been waiting for this moment for what feels like an eternity and he craved for her to like him. Gasped for it like the air he now needed to breathe, yearned for it like the substance his stomach cried for. Deciding not to even think about any possibility that things wouldn’t work out he focuses instead on his outfit. Looking down at the magazine clipping he tore off, he conjured an outfit exactly like it. He didn’t want to look too desperately dressed up, but he didn’t want to look like this wasn’t the most important moment of his eternal life thus far. Slicking his hair back as he stared deep into the mirror he then begins to practice what he would actually say to her. “ Hi,” clearing his throat he tries again, “Hi Sarah! Oh no, no no, I’m not supposed to know her name!” Crap, this is going to be harder than he anticipated.
“Hi, I’m Nate…”
“Nice to meet you, I’m Nate.”
After practicing human conversation for hours, double and triple checking his appearance in the mirror, he decided he is as ready as he’d ever be. His hands begin shaking as soon as he climbs inside his sleek black car, but he hides that thought somewhere deep down. Instead, he drove focusing on the road. But by the time he finally pulls into a parking spot outside Jack’s Coffee Bean his heartbeat is once again uncontrollable. He pauses waiting for it to pass like a shadow in the night, sitting in the car trying to collect himself. This is it, he thinks before taking one last deep breath and practically hops out of the car. The butterflies inside of him are now exploding like fireworks as he catches sight of her immediately through the window. Sitting in her favorite spot his heart seems to skip a beat, he notices only because it’s not beating incessantly anymore—it’s frozen. Clenching his fists as if to steady himself he gathered his energy and walks determinedly to the front door.
As soon as he walks deeper inside, his eyes gravitate to her as if they could sense her in the dark. She sits in her green sofa chair in the corner by the window tapping away at her laptop before her. Trying to act human he fights the urge to go directly up to her, instead he waits in line. Every few seconds he finds himself continuously glancing back at her, maybe to make sure she isn’t some kind of mirage. Typing away with her headphones in, she sits there wearing a light blue sweater that seems to bring out the redness from her hair and the lightness of her eyes.
“What can I get you sir?” Nate’s broken out of his trance when the coffee house owner, Jack brings him back to reality.
“Coffee.” Nate mutters sarcastically.
“Okay, a man of few words, I gotcha!” Jack cheerfully whips around to pour him a cup of coffee. Again his eyes wander over to Sarah, sitting there so enraptured in her computer. One has to admire how passionate she is about anything she does.
“Here ya—” Jack places the cup on the counter before following Nate’s eyes. “She’s something isn’t she?”
“Huh?” Nate finally snaps back to the blue green eyes he despises, “Yea, she is.”
“We’re kind of dating,” With four words, the coffee house barista with the curly blonde hair and coffee stained shirt shatters all the dreams Nate has ever had.
“Oh?” Jack now has Nate’s full attention. Wow, how long was he gone? He had seen them at the bar together last night, but he never thought…
“Yea, I can’t believe it myself sometimes.” Shaking his head as if remembering a happy memory before continuing, “Anyway, that’ll be $2.50.”
Nate hands him the money before turning to face Sarah, what now? It seemed like all he thought about was meeting her and now all he wants to do is run away and never look back. Maybe start a fight, punch something, kill something else. He fights the rage burning inside of him when he finally decides it doesn’t matter, he’s going to follow through with his plan. He has to at least meet her. He didn’t come this far only to run away.
He begins to walk through the maze of coffee house patrons with their scattered chairs and backpacks. It all seems to happen in slow motion, the past couple months have all been leading up to this. Reaching the table, he clears his throat. She can’t seem to hear him. How is he supposed to get her attention with those things in her ear? Sometimes he doesn’t understand human technology. Clearing his throat again, he leans over slightly, “Is anyone sitting here?” It takes her a few seconds before she finally looks up at him. Those hazel eyes staring straight into his paralyzes him for a second. Those eyes, he’s missed those eyes. She looks almost surprised, if he didn’t know any better he would say she recognizes him. He tries again, “Is someone sitting here?” this time pointing to the empty chair across from her in case his English isn’t any good. Her mouth gaped open slightly, in a cute continually surprised look. Finally coming to the realization that her headphones were still in, she closes her eyes and peels them out of her ear.
“I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you.” Are the first words that come clumsily out of her mouth, the first words she ever spoke to him. Actually spoke to him.
“I was just asking if this seat was taken,” unable to control the huge smile that is no doubt all over his face.
Glancing around the coffee house before she replies, “Um…No,” it makes him wonder if she was checking in with Jack.
Slowly having a seat across from her, placing his coffee on the table between them. Nate realizes he can’t very well just stare at her this whole time. Stealing a peek around he sees a few people on their laptops and a few others reading books. Conjuring a generic book he pretends to pull it out of his pocket and opens to a blank page. He can’t help but notice she puts away her headphones and his heart flies thinking that maybe they can actually have a conversation. Act human, act human, he repeats to himself over and over he’s watched them for months he can emulate them. Gradually beginning this pattern of taking a sip of coffee and turning a page, sip, page turn—trying to act like all his attention isn’t on the fiery siren in front of him. Feeling a small victory when he begins to feel her eyes peering at him from over her laptop. He sat basking in her emotions of curiosity and intrigue, he had been staring at her for months it was only fair he let her have a turn. Wondering if she can feel it, his senses are firing all at once. Their aura’s just mesh, it’s as if they were in their own little aura bubbles until now, now they were one bubble, one aura. It’s as if she calls to him, her mind, her heart, her aura, it draws him in. He wonders if she can feel this, sense what he’s sensing. Her senses should be intensified by the thousandth degree. Can she feel this? Is she intelligent enough to comprehend what is going on with her? What was he worried about? She would need him. Her need for answers would never let her stop until she found her own way to him.
Breaking our internal aura-mating as if he could read my mind, I see Jack slide up to her side placing a hot latte on the table between them. Obviously feeling threatened, he leaves a whole line of angry customers to personally hand her the coffee. Nate doesn’t give him the satisfaction of acknowledging his presence he keeps his eyes on his fake book.
“It’s been a while, I figured you’d need a hot one,”
“Uh, thanks Jack,” she awkwardly digs through her purse at her feet.
“Don’t worry about it, my girls drink for free!” he announces to Nate. He can feel it Jack’s aura is screaming jealousy, he sees me as a threat. As he should, Nate is here to steal his girl and have her never look back. There’s an awkward silence, a testing of masculinity as our auras of emotion battle between us in the silence that ensues until Sarah finally responds.
“Thanks again Jack,” returning her attention back to her laptop. Guys’ fighting over her is not what she’s used to. He can feel her awkwardness. It’s heartwarming.
Jack pauses for a second sizing Nate up with his eyes before sighing and returning to his awaiting customers. Nate slowly begins to realize it’s now or never, he has to speak to her.
“Wow, they sure are friendly over here.” he mutters allowing his sarcasm to shine through, he know she’ll appreciate that.
“You have no idea,” responding with what Nate assumes is a joke, he laughs bringing his book down slightly until their eyes meet over her laptop and she immediately drops them back to the screen. Is she flirting with him?
“I’m Nate by the way!” His well-rehearsed line comes out perfectly, extending his hand as human tradition dictates.
“Sera,” she responds meeting his outstretched hand. Her warm fingers graze his as their palms finally meet. He thinks he might faint. She shivers and Nate thinks he feels a similar feeling.
“Sarah, that’s a pretty—”
“No, not Sarah, Sera with an E… It’s short for Seraphina,” she corrects him firmly.
“Oh,” is all he can say out loud as his mind is on overdrive. He had her name wrong this entire time! Seraphina? She had an Angel name! How did he not know this? Was God toying with him? This has got to be some twisted joke. The picture in the throne room, now this—what does it all mean? He tries to process this while shaking his head, the smile playing on his lips.
“What?” Sera asks him curiously her eyes scanning his face for answers.
“Oh, nothing,” he has to be more sly, he can’t have her finding out about him… not yet. “It’s just really pretty. Did you know Seraphim are supposedly the closest Angel’s to God?” he asks curiously wondering if she knows the history behind her own name. Silently setting her up for a world in which she is now a part of.
“No, I never really looked into it. To be honest I don’t really like my full name, that’s why I go by Sera.”
“Well, I think Seraphina is a beautiful name and you should be proud of it.” She blushes at him as she thanks him shyly. Not wanting the conversation to ever end, but not having anything else to talk about he continues, “So… is that your overprotective boyfriend?” his breath catches in his throat preparing for the answer.
“Who? Jack? Oh no we are JUST FRIENDS!” she announces to practically the entire coffee shop.
“Oh,” Nate mumbles trying to disguise his secret victory, “So what are you typing away at over there.”
She proceeds to tell him all about Amanda, as if he doesn’t already know her inside and out. He nods and listens intently, honestly he thinks he could listen to her read off a hit list and he would find it just as interesting. As long as she is talking to him, he could listen forever. Too many months have gone by with this one-sided love affair, he’d appreciate every syllable she spoke to him.
Suddenly the conversation shifts, “What about you, what brings you here?” Crap! He didn’t practice a backstory. She leans in slightly hovering over her laptop, what was his cover story again… oh yea the book!
“Just catching up on some reading!” He points to the book to reiterate.
“Are you from around here? I’ve never seen you before,” she pries deeper. Of course she had never seen him before. His heart sinks at the reminder of that fact.
“Just moved here from… up north,” mildly smiling at just how correct that statement is. Not wanting her to ask him any more questions that he didn’t have answers for—he has to change the conversation around. Leaning in closer to meet her in the center of the small circular table. “Enough about me, would you like to go to dinner with me sometime?”
That’s it! It’s out there. He had finally said it. He had asked her out. She leans back slightly taken back by his question. She was struggling to find words and his heart sank as he sank lower in his chair.
“Uh… okay,” she finally gets out, but he was sure it was only because she was being nice. That was it, she didn’t like him. He might as well go to Hell. All his plans, hopes, everything was falling to pieces. She broke his train of thought when she continued, “I mean Yes, I would like that…” she finishes with that shy flattered grin of hers. It was the smile that did it. The smile that he had only seen a few times, mostly when she spoke to Jack. But here, now, in her favorite chair she was giving that smile to him. Sera is actually flirting with him! Nate returns her smile as he mentally pieces his hopes back together.
“Great! What are your plans after work tomorrow?” he asks not wanting to waste another day away from her. Each minute seemed like an eternity, he figures that’s what happens when your life literally revolves around someone for months.
“On a Monday night? Uh, nothing,” she was joking he could tell, but he didn’t quite understand it.
Good, call me after work and I’ll pick you up!” he states conjuring a piece of paper with his phone number on it as he stands to his feet. Sliding the piece of paper across the table her fingers graze his as it passes between them. He almost doesn’t want to leave her, but he still had a lot of work to finish. This has to be perfect. You only get a first impression once. “I look forward to it,” he made sure to tell her before he left the coffee house and fell into his car with the biggest smile on his face. This could actually work, he thought happily to himself. Now, all that’s left is to wait for her call, hopefully she does call. He didn’t understand how humans do this, the waiting, the heartbreak and destruction if in fact they never call. He fully understood why God didn’t want this to be a part of Heaven—it’s too distracting. Humans are more driven by emotion and desires, making them more like animals, unpredictable…
About the Author:
Sheena is a born and raised New Yorker, even her writing can't seem to hide her hard sarcasm. She claims destiny has lead her back to her true passion for writing.
She constantly strives to be a positive role model and writes stories that empower and inspire. Sheena always roots for the underdog, believes in love at first sight, and that everyone should have their happily ever after.
While God is currently still writing her love story, she continues to put all her effort into her writing as she is constantly getting new inspiration.
For more info, updates, and fun facts visit her website at www.SheenaHutchinson.com
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