Monday, December 17, 2012

{First Chapter} Black Moon (Paige Tailor Series #1) by Jessica McQuay

Welcome one and all to my stop on the Black Moon book tour brought to you by Bewitching Book Tours. Here you will find information about the book along with information about the author and ways to contact her. You will also get a chance to read the first chapter of this amazing book. So, sit back, relax and have an enchanting time!
About the Book

Black Moon (Paige Tailor Series #1)
by Jessica McQuay

Genre: YA/NA Paranormal Fantasy
ISBN: 1936185741
Number of pages: 240
Cover Artist: Miriam Grunhaus


Book Description

"Am I losing my mind?"

Paige couldn't help but question her sanity. What other explanation could there be for her hearing a conversation held barely above a whisper in the back of a classroom full of students? What about coming home to find one of those very classmates lying in wait in the darkness of her home, ready to attack her?

Confused, frustrated and feeling every ounce of her social ostracism, Paige confides in the one person she's always been able to count on: her mom. But when her mom reveals a deeply rooted, unbelievable family secret, Paige discovers her world is filled with more than she ever imagined possible. A world where fairytales live alongside nightmares and secrets are the glue that binds them together. Suddenly no one is who they seem and Paige is faced with more questions than answers. Can she survive in a world filled with creatures scarier than anything she could imagine and where deceit runs as thick as blood? Or will the truth send her over the edge?
First Chapter

Chapter One

I sat across from Jay, one of the guys known throughout HH as
a slacker, and I listened to Mr. O drone on and on about the
periodic table, compounds and atoms. I didn’t hear a word
he said. I couldn’t seem to get my mind off of what happened this
morning. It was the second time it’d taken place in a matter of
days, which helped to eliminate the possibility that I’d imagined
the entire thing the fi rst time. Unless, of course, I was losing my
mind, which could very well be the case.
“Alright class, let’s open up our text to page four hundred and
twenty two and read ourselves.”
I fl ipped open my book with the rest of the class but I’d read
the entire chapter on elemental change last night, so I decided
to use the time to worry more about what was happening to me.
What was happening to me? Th e question sent a chill down
my spine and I wrapped my unzipped hoodie closer around me,
a frown pinching my eyebrows together. I’m sure to anyone that
looked it seemed like I was concentrating on my reading. It’s
what I would be doing aft er all. I was the kind of girl who paid
attention in each period, did her homework and aced all of my
classes, with the exception of PE. Graceful and athletic were two
words you wouldn’t hear people use to describe me. More like
shy and quiet.
While my classmates read to themselves, I replayed the
morning over and over in my head. I was up early, just as I
started off each school day. I showered, brushed my teeth, and
got dressed. As I packed my things into my bag, ready to head
downstairs and out to my car, a white dusky light began in the
palm of each of my hands. A tingling sensation accompanied the
light causing me to drop my backpack.
I stared in disbelief, turning my hands palm up towards the
ceiling; a trickle of fear mingled with curiosity warmed the core
of my being. I brought my hands together, palm to palm and
watched as the light grew stronger, casting a white luminance on
the things surrounding me. Th e tingle grew stronger and began
coursing up my arms. Scared, I pulled my hands apart and just as
suddenly as it began, it stopped.
“A few minutes more class and we will jump straight into
partner work.”
Mr. O’s voice pulled me from my contemplating, and feeling
no closer to an answer, I sighed as I closed my book. My head
began to pound and I fl inched in response, pressing a fi nger into
each of my temples. Th e pain fl ared, pulsed and began traveling
down along my scalp to the back of my neck.
I took a deep breath that shuddered in my lungs because I
was trying to keep from crying out. I closed my eyes and laid my
head on the table, hoping that its coolness would at least stop
whatever was happening from getting worse.
I had a brief moment of relief as the pain did ease in response
to the cool touch of the tabletop. As the pain eased a roaring
sound began to grow around me, fi ll my ears and my head. It
was the sound of a million conversations being held at once.
Indistinguishable voices all chattering together, some laughing,
some intense, some whispering, some screaming.
I fought to keep the scream building inside of me from
tearing out of my throat. Just when I thought I was going to
explode from the pain and the noise, it stopped. To go from so
much intensity to dead silence was almost as painful. It was like
the quiet had a sound and even though my classmates sat reading
to themselves all around me, I felt like I could hear…something.
I looked around and found that no one was the wiser to what
was going on with me. I turned back to my book and puzzled
over whatever that had been. And then, out of the silence, a
single voice rose. I turned, expecting the owner of the voice to
be sitting next to me. Jay was the only person there and he was
playing with his cell, oblivious to me.
“Matt, Tommy, I am thrilled to know you are fi nding
the reading so interesting that you’re discussing it amongst
yourselves. Perhaps you’d like to share your fi ndings with the rest
of the class?”
“I seriously doubt Matt wants the class to know that he’s been
cheating on his girlfriend Samantha by hooking up with Rachel.”
Oh no. Oh no no no no no! How had I known THAT?
And why, oh why, did it come from my mouth, out loud, to
the entire class?
I know how I knew. Matt’s voice was the one I’d heard earlier.
How is that even possible?
I didn’t have time to contemplate; I had a classroom full of
people wondering the exact same thing judging by the looks on
some of their faces.
“How did you know that, Tailor?”
I swung around and found myself face to face with Matt. I
didn’t know if the surprise had time to register on my face before
he was leaning down into it, his voice a controlled whisper.
“If I fi nd out that you’ve been spying on me, you little nobody,
you will wish you never let my name touch your lips.”
Th e hairs on my neck and arms came to life, and chills
pricked along my skin. I couldn’t look away from his eyes. They’d
gone black as night with the exception of the pupils which were
blazing gold. My tongue wouldn’t move my mouth was so dry. I
couldn’t fi nd my voice and I was starting to shiver just as Mr. O
stepped between us.
“Matthew, get back to your seat.”
Th en he turned to the rest of the class as the bell rang.
“Chapter fourteen for reading tonight, and be sure to answer
the assessment questions at the end. You’re dismissed, with the
exception of Matt, Tommy and Paige.”
Mr. O left my side to head to his desk and I began gathering
my things. Th ere was no way I’d heard a conversation between
Matt and Tommy. No logical way anyhow. I mean, like any
jock, the two idiots sat in the back of the classroom near the
cheerleaders. And I was, of course, seated up front with the other
geeks. Not a word I’d use to describe myself, but like any high
school around we had cliques and categorizing and, well, when it
came down to it, I guess it was just plain ol’ name calling.
I risked a glance over my shoulder at Matt and found him
glaring at me and Tommy next to him pulling on his arm, trying
to get his attention from the looks of it. I turned back around and
fi nished putting my things in my bag.
“Matt and Tommy, sit back down.”
I stopped zipping my bag and looked up at Mr. O.
“I don’t know what is going on between the three of you
but that will be the last time it takes place in the middle of my
classroom, am I understood?”
I nodded my agreement and didn’t bother looking back at
the two football jocks ruining my already shitty day.
“Paige you are one of my smartest, hardest working, goal
oriented students. Let’s stick to what matters and stay out of the
nonsense, okay?”
Still unable to fi nd my voice, I nodded again.
“Okay, you can head to your next class, Paige.”
I didn’t wait to hear what he said to Matt or Tommy, I fi nished
zipping my backpack while standing and making my way to the
door.
“As for the two of you…”
Mr. O’s voice faded as the door shut with a gentle whoosh
behind me. Could this day get any weirder?
***
Lucky for me the rest of my day was uneventful, unless you
count the stares from my fellow classmates as an event. On regular
occasions they don’t bother acknowledging my existence. Today,
however I swear I heard my name in whispered conversations. I
was certain I’d even caught a few people pointing at me.
By the last bell of the day I was so over the attention,
imagined or not. I ducked through the halls and made my way
to the car before most of the senior class made it outside of the
school corridors. When I pulled into my driveway I heaved a
sigh of relief. Home was my safe place. No one could make me
feel paranoid here.
I grabbed my backpack from the backseat and shut the car
door. I leaned against the hood to gather my thoughts. It felt
like within a few days’ time my life was out of control. Whatever
was happening to me was overwhelming my thoughts. I had to
fi gure out what was going on. A substantial part of me thought I
was losing my mind. White lights from my body, hearing noises,
sounds and conversations the human ear can’t hear. It was too
much. How on earth was I supposed to come up with a logical
explanation for things like this? Yeah, the crazy was sounding
much more plausible.
I pushed away from the car and made my way up the front
steps lost in thought. Surely I wasn’t insane. Someone can’t go
from being okay and normal, to losing it within a day or two,
right?
I shook my head hoping to dispel the dizzying thoughts that
were going round and round in circles in my head and unlocked
the front door. I stepped inside and closed it, then tossed my
keys into the dish on the side table. Th e instant they hit the glass
the hairs on the back of my neck sprung to life. I glanced up into
the mirror above the side table in time to see a fi gure hurdling
towards me. I had milliseconds to respond, but found my body
taking control. I crouched just in time. Th e blur of a person
passed by close enough to stir the loose strands of hair around
my face.
I spun around, still low to the ground and watched the
person crash head fi rst into the staircase banister, knocking them
out. I waited there, stunned. I listened for other noises or sounds
that might clue me into whether or not there were others or
this person sprawled across the fi rst landing of my staircase was
alone. All I could hear was the thudding of my own heartbeat
racing away. My pulse pounded in my ears and I knew that I
needed to get a grip.
Taking a deep breath, I stood and moved forward. As I did
so, I began to make out subtle features of my almost attacker.
Th e frame was small, petite even. And by the time I made it to
her face, I had a name: Rachel. Yeah, the same Rachel that I told
the entire class was messing around with her friend’s boyfriend.
News travels fast. Maybe I wasn’t so paranoid aft er all.
I kneeled beside her to make sure she was okay and found
her breathing fi ne. In fact, aft er examining her, I couldn’t find
a single injury on her despite watching her hit the railing head
fi rst. What is that about?
I left Rachel and walked the entire fi rst fl oor just to be sure I
was right and she was alone. I checked for her point of entry but
couldn’t fi nd anything to show me how she’d managed to get in.
I’d expected broken glass from a window or a smashed lock, but
my quick inspection turned up nothing and I didn’t have time to
be more thorough.
What now? Mom was going to walk in the door any second.
I had a decision to make. Did I let her come in and fi nd Rachel
and tell her about the things that have been happening to me, or
do I get Rachel the heck out of my house and try to fi gure this
crap out on my own?
I paced the front hall for a minute, going back and forth with
what I wanted. A part of me wanted to tell. Th e freaky crap going
on with me has to have some kind of explanation, even if it is one
I don’t want to face. What if mom is no more clued in about any
of it than I am? Worse, what if she doesn’t believe me? Th inks I’ve
gone mental and wants to call in a doctor or something?
Yeah, no thanks, decision made. It was time to get Rachel out
of my house.
I braced myself as I kneeled and grabbed her ankles. I wasn’t
the strongest person; this was going to hurt. She had to go though,
and she had to go now. I was running out of time. I took a deep
breath, planted my feet and pulled. I was all the way to the back
door before I realized I wasn’t even out of breath. Odd.
Lucky for me we lived on a few acres in the hills. Our house
was bordered by trees. Our yard backed into the El Dorado
National Forest. Th e thickest point of brush and outcroppings
laid to the left of our fence and that was where I pulled and
stowed Rachel. I knew mom wouldn’t be able to see her back
here if she just so happened to look out of our kitchen window.
I put Rachel as comfortable as I could and sprinted back
to the house. I washed my hands, double checked the area I’d
almost been attacked in and was grabbing a soda from the fridge
just as mom opened the front door. I turned towards her as she
dropped her keys into the same little dish I’d done the same with
not thirty minutes ago.
“Hey sweetie, how was your day?”
We crossed paths as I made my way to the living room and
she headed towards the kitchen. She kissed my forehead and
went to drop her things next to the dining table.
“It was okay. I was going to try and fi nd something to veg out
to on TV for a bit, but I think I’ll head upstairs to start on some
homework instead.”
I passed the living room and stopped at the bottom of the
stairs to turn back to her.
“Sounds like a plan. I’ll start dinner soon; I need to make a
couple of calls before I change out of my work clothes and head
into the kitchen.”
“Okay, I’ll be in my room if you need me.”
“I’ll call you when it’s ready hun.”
I was to my room before she fi nished her sentence. I closed
the door behind me and went to my desk to grab a notebook
and pen. I happened to glance out of my window and almost
jumped out of my pants when I saw Rachel standing just beyond
our back fence, looking up at me. I couldn’t make out the features
on her face, as she was much too far away. We stood there, locked
in a staring contest for what seemed like hours. She broke first
and took off into the woods.
Aft er holding my breath for so long, it was a relief to plop
onto my bed. I placed my can of soda on the bedside table, closed
my eyes and laid my head against my propped knees. I let my
thoughts go and concentrated on breathing and breathing alone.
Five minutes later, I lift ed my head and grabbed the pen and
paper. I scrambled to get my formulating thoughts out in writing
before they were lost to me. Once I was done I put the pen down
and read what I’d written back to myself.
Th ere was no other explanation for what happened in science
class. I didn’t have the slightest idea about the white light and
weird sensation from the last two mornings. But today, in class, I
was ninety-nine percent certain I was on the right path as I read
my own words scribbled across the lines.
I heard Matt’s thoughts.
Buy the Book

     

About the Author
Jessica McQuay


There were three things Jessica loved to do growing up; reading, writing and playing music. She discovered her love for writing at a young age, when she realized she could create anything she wanted with words. Jessica lives in Sacramento, CA with her husband, four children, a goldfish named Sparkle and their cat, Talula. When she isn't working on the next Paige Tailor novel, taking her children to one activity or another, or folding the never ending laundry of a six person family, Jessica enjoys playing her clarinet in the community band, reading while enjoying a cup of coffee or heading to the theater and catching a movie with her husband.
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